Taney County decides not to raise taxes on vacation rentals, like Airbnb

People who own vacation rental properties, like Airbnbs, in Taney County are breathing a sigh of relief. They’d been dreading a hike in taxes, but the decision to do that has been reversed.

Scott Roberts owns vacation rentals near Hollister. He says he loves what he does because it's all about making memories for families who visit the Branson area.

"They said 'this was the best week of my life.' So, to be able to do that!" Roberts said.

However, he says, owning vacation rental property listed on sites like Airbnb, is coming with more hassle and cost.

"They have regulations, the state has regulations, the county has regulations. It cuts into our bottom line," Roberts said.

That's why, for him, it was a small victory when the county decided not to up taxes for these types of properties.

"It would have been a big deal," Roberts said.

Earlier this year, the assessor announced they'd tax vacation rentals as 100 percent commercial starting next year.

"It would be a 3.5 percent take out of our operating income," Roberts said.

However, the assessor changed his mind, saying clear direction in how to tax these homes needs to come from the state level.

"They listened," Roberts said.

Still, Jeramie Worley, a broker with Worley & Associates, says as the vacation rentals business grows, so do regulations.

"Over the past two years, we've seen, I'd say, a 110 percent increase in regulations in vacation rentals," Worley said.

It is a that trend Jeramie Worley says could stifle growth.

"Everybody says they want to help the little guy, but who really does?" Worley said.

In the meantime, Roberts says he'll keep fighting for the business be believes in.

"You do what you have to do," Roberts said.

Worley says, as 2019 begins, eyes will be on the state legislature, as there will likely be more bills proposing more changes for the vacation rentals.