Pearland vote paves way for regulation of short-term rentals


Pearland residents who operate short-term rentals (STRs) in their homes will soon need to register with the city so they can be charged a 7% hotel operating tax.

On October 25, city council voted 6-0 to approve an ordinance to create and require the registry. However, the board first amended the ordinance to state that before any tax bill is sent, board members should first hear and approve the billing plan.

Council member Luke Orlando suggested the possibility.

“Once (the vendor and city staff) sort out the details, just share them with the council and get a final vote,” he said.

Board member Alex Kamkar endorsed the idea.

“We have to make sure things get back to the board before we send out the invoices,” he said.

City staff informed council members that STR operators, such as hoteliers, would be subject to a 7% room rate tax due to the city on a quarterly basis. These residents will have the option of paying in person or through the online portal.

The city reported that of the 200 estimated STR properties in Pearland, only three paid hotel occupancy tax as required, resulting in a total payment of just over $ 6,500 between 2019 and 2021. The city said the average daily rate for STRs was around $ 353, compared to $ 75 for hotels.

City council has been debating a registry since last summer, when a first attempt to pass an ordinance failed. However, following an outcry from local hotel owners that STR owners were given an unfair advantage when not paying their taxes and residents complaining about issues with an STR operator in the Green Tee Terrace Subdivision, the Board of Directors decided to revert to the matter.

This time it stuck, and not only did the Council create the registry, but in mid-October, the Board of Trustees established the Short-Term Rental Advisory Committee to make recommendations for the Ordinance on Short-Term Rental. registry, which will likely change once these suggestions are submitted. The committee is to report back to the board by December 1.

The committee is responsible for reviewing possible STR regulations regarding permits, inspection requirements, penalties, occupancy limitations, parking and other matters. The City defines short-term rental as “residential accommodation or a room in accommodation that is rented as compensation on a temporary basis for a period of less than thirty consecutive days”.

The committee is made up of Mayor Kevin Cole, council members Adrian Hernandez and Trent Perez, owner of a local hotel and Pearland Convention & Visitors Bureau board member Manny Patel, as well as John Lampson, a resident who lives near a STR property.

The city also plans to write a second ordinance later to enforce the regulations it passes.

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