Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - There are hundreds of homes in Missoula that are being used as VRBOs (Vacation Rental by Owner), that visitors all over the world can rent on a daily or weekly basis.

The Missoula City Council is considering raising the ‘tourist home registration fee’ for the owners of these properties.

Ward 6 City Councilor Sandra Vasecka contacted KGVO News after a meeting this week where these fees were discussed.

If You Own and Rent out a VRBO This Information is Important

“The Housing Redevelopment and Community Programs Committee just had a presentation about how the city staff was directed to update the tourist home registration fees,” began Vasecka. “A tourist home is basically a short-term rental, aVRBO, or an Airbnb. Basically, if you have a second home that you only use for the summer, and you want to rent it out for a weekend or for a week or for a night.”

Vasecka said the projected increase in fees will come as a shock to the owners of these homes.

Proposed Increases from 650 percent to 1,351 percent for registration and renewals

“They are wanting to amend the fee from $60.00 for a new registration to $450.00 which is a 650% increase and then upon renewal each year, the fee used is currently $31.00, however, it is proposed to increase to $450.00 as well, which is 1,351% increase.”

Vasecka, who recently ran for the office of Missoula County Auditor, said she sees these increases as drastic to Missoula vacation homeowners.

“I think that's pretty drastic, and I don't agree with that,” she said. “ (As a) disclaimer, I do not own any rentals or actually don't even own my home, but I think that's very unfair to people who are trying to make some money off of a property that they own. I think that you should be able to do what you want to do with your own property.”

Let Your Voice be Heard

Vasecka invited Missoula residents to a hearing tentatively scheduled for November 28 to let their views be known on these possible increases.

“This was discussed in committee today,” she said on Wednesday. “We did not actually set the public hearing, but I do believe that the hearing will be set for November 28 after next week's committee meetings. I would encourage anyone, even if you have a vested interest in this or not, if you have a feeling about this pro or con to come on down to city council chambers during the public hearing and let us know all your thoughts.”

Click here to see the video (and go to the 48-minute mark) of the Housing Redevelopment and Community Programs Committee Meeting that occurred on November 9.

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