GEORGETOWN, Ky. (FOX 56) – The Georgetown-Scott County Tourism Commission wants to make sure all short-term rentals in the county are paying their taxes. The concern comes after residents brought up questions during a recent planning commission meeting regarding some Airbnb’s flying under the radar.
The online-hosted rentals are becoming more popular in the county because lodging options in downtown Georgetown are slim. The nearest hotels are next to the interstate, about 3-4 miles away from downtown shops and restaurants.
“It makes it more difficult for the tourists to enjoy Georgetown and its attractions. It would be better if they had a place downtown. We have a lot to offer here,” explained lifelong Scott County resident, Charlie Hoffman.
“I’ve got a couple of properties in Georgetown and a couple of buildings downtown that have a pretty unique presence themselves in the downtown district, so I thought well an Airbnb would work pretty well” said resident Roy Cornett, who also serves on the tourism commission.
The rentals put guests within walking distance of downtown shops and generate tax money for the county. There’s a 1% tax at the state level, 3% at the local level, and 6% sales tax. The tourism board is presenting suggestions to the county’s planning commission to make sure all Airbnb’s are included in tax collections.
“It will allow the tourism board to ensure their short-term rentals are not paying their fair share and to seek out those people,” Cornett stated.
Right now, the county collects an additional $15,000 in tax money from short-term rentals. If the planning commission changes the terms and conditions within ordinances, that money could double. The tourism commission sadi there are about 30 rentals currently listed not paying all of their taxes.