Updated: Mar 6
In this article we will try to be as non partisan as possible displaying both the pro's and cons of each side. We will also point out several major falsehoods being spread about the topic.
FALSE RUMORS: "Short Term Rentals are free from paying commercial sales tax and do not pay local taxes" According to MN State statute section 297A.61 All rentals short or long term are subject to the same tax code including state and local taxes. If Munson township decides not to tax rentals that is their decision. There are FEDRAL tax breaks for short term rentals, but that does not affect local income. "Short term rentals break laws with impunity" Apparently lax county zoning laws require townships to crack down on special zoning for short term rentals and most townships do not have the resources for this. A logical response to this would be taking the matter to the county zoning commission with any suggestions or grievances. The commission exists for a reason and if there are no rules implemented for where short term can be, then that is an issue the county should address. Its not that short term rentals are breaking the law, there is just little regulation around them. Something that can be easily fixed. CONS: Your neighbors might not actually live there! You might have new people there every few days. These visitors will not be invested in making the community better through behavior, civic volunteering etc. It can be more profitable to home owners to have a short term rental vs a long term rental or residence. This means that many houses in the community will not be available for sale or long term rent to those looking to move to the community. PROS: Outside money flowing into the community. If a local homeowner buys another house and rents it out, he or she is now bringing more revenue into the community. Not only that but the visitors to the community will spend money locally. Short term rental owners will have capital to invest into new businesses and developments, new housing and ultimate growth. There are many resorts in the chain of lakes area that drive tourism and business. Many downtown businesses in Richmond rely on a boost in tourism cashflow to keep their doors open, and prices affordable. Tourists are far more likely to spend money locally than residents. While residents can easily run over to St Cloud for some shopping, people visiting on vacation will head to the closest store to get what they need. Without short term rentals we could see more local businesses closing their doors and even the growth of the area become jeopardized. SOLUTIONS: After examining all sides of the equation it seems that SOMETHING does need to be done, but outright banning short term rentals could be catastrophic to the local economy. A simple solution would be strict zoning laws, and increased local regulation. To voice your opinions and hear what others have to say please attend the meeting on Thursday March 2nd at 8pm on the Munson Township Hall.