ATLANTA – People who rent their homes or bedrooms to vacationers should be collecting state taxes, including a new $5 nightly tax, but properties rented fewer than 15 nights a year should be exempt, a House committee decided Monday.

The 15-night exemption is designed to protect residents in Athens and Augusta who rent bedrooms or their homes only during the six University of Georgia home football games or during the weeklong Masters Tournament. Saint Simons Island residents who offer property during the Georgia-Florida football weekend would be in the clear, too.

The popularity of online marketing services like TripAdvisor, Airbnb and HomeAway prompted lawmakers to form a committee to study whether more regulation is needed. Lobbyists from hotel trade groups pushed for greater regulation, arguing that the newcomers shouldn’t be allowed to undercut established businesses by avoiding taxes and required health and safety measures.

“I know there’s been a lot of interest in this,” said the chairman, Rep. Terry Rogers, R-Clarksville.

During testimony, Robert Trim of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association said parity was needed.

“Our position on this is real simple. We just want a fair playing field,” he said.

After three day-long hearings, the committee concluded no new laws were needed, nor did it seek to give the state revenue commissioner more authority to collect the taxes. It noted cities could be like Savannah which had drafted its own ordinance to regulate the vacation rentals there.

While the committee isn’t proposing legislation, it did offer recommendations to the Department of Revenue and local governments that it said it wanted to see work before considering new laws. For one, they should strike agreements with Airbnb and other companies that process vacation-rental reservations so that state and local taxes will be collected, according to the committee’s report.

“We will file this with the clerk and during the legislative session see what happens,” Rogers said, acknowledging that hotel lobbyists could still convince any individual legislator to introduce a regulation bill.

Among the recommendations are that the associations of cities and of counties draft statewide safety and insurance requirements for the short-term rentals.

And taxing agencies should provide training to property owners about collecting what is due from vacationers.

The Georgia Hotel & Lodging Association issued a statement late Monday saying vacation rentals should indeed be subject to the $5-per-night transportation tax imposed on overnight guests to pay for road maintenance.

“Since the state decided it is appropriate to tax the lodging industry to fund transportation improvements, we feel that tax should be applied fairly across the board,” said Jim Sprouse, the association’s executive director. “We believe in a level-playing field for Georgia’s hotel industry, whether we’re talking about a large brand, an independent family-owned business, or a new market participant.”

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