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A summer study found about 70 active short-term rental listings outside of the Lodging Overlay. While none of those listings were necessarily illegal, town councilors want to get ahead of a growing national issue of changing character and increased local rents.

Even the tech companies admit there’s a problem.

With the remote work revolution pushing more short-term rentals into rural communities, companies like Airbnb are starting to post advice to small local governments on how they can “benefit from the rise in remote workers.”

Contact Sophia Boyd-Fliegel at county@jhnewsandguide or 307-732-7063.

Sophia covers county politics, housing, and workforce issues. A Pacific Coast devotee, she grew up in Washington, studied in California and has worked in Oregon and Alaska.

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(1) comment

Judd Grossman

This will drive down the already restricted value of the properties outside the overlay for the benefit of those properties that are actually or effectively unregulated throughout the rest of the Town and County. In effect transferring wealth from the limited areas of Town that contain the most working class homeowners to those owners in the Overlay and in the rest of the county that are already making money hand over fist and experiencing a massive windfall of income from short term rentals. Building a deeper moat around the rental businesses and property values of the most affluent at the expense of the less affluent. This is a targeted intervention by local government to effectively expand the “income inequality” of our community.

Government needs to clamp down on all short term rentals, County included, and not just on the working class free market home owners in Town. They need to institute fees on all short term rentals to pay for proper enforcement.

If they further restrict rental rights in Town then they need to provide an exception for people's primary residence that is not income or asset based. Just the same exception for everyone across the board. Examining peoples tax returns to see if they are needy is too invasive and provides a perverse incentive to work less in order to qualify for the exception.

The middle class always gets falls through the donut hole. Make too much money to qualify for income based programs, but not enough money to not have to worry about money. Think college, healthcare, housing, etc.. These needs based programs shrink the middle class. Why work hard and save if it hurts you rather than helps you.

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