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MV to start taxing, regulating short-term rentals

Original post made on Mar 22, 2018

After years of dithering, Mountain View is getting ready to start regulating and taxing the local cottage industry of Airbnb rentals and other similar services.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, March 22, 2018, 12:37 PM

Comments (42)

Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 22, 2018 at 1:31 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

Not surprising. After all, why should homeowners have any control at all over what they do with their own property? Also, it's not as if struggling middle class families might benefit from making a few extra dollars a month top make ends meet and maybe be able to pay their mortgage or tuition for their kids. It's also not as if the middle class and those at the lower end of the earnings bracket aren't already paying enough taxes right? I mean the Republican's just gave everyone a big tax break, so why isn't the city entitled to take that extra cash right back out of their pockets?



Jim Neal
Old Mountain View


Posted by MV Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 22, 2018 at 1:45 pm

Surely the board is aware that many of the RVs that are fixtures on our streets are being rented out. And so surely they will enforce the rental tax on these RVs. When it comes to lost tax revenue, the board will enforce the laws.

Now we can find out who these RV people really are.


Posted by John Geibel
a resident of another community
on Mar 22, 2018 at 3:16 pm

It isn't as if taxes were not already being collected. The property is taxed, income earned from the property is taxed, any purchases or dinning out by visitors is taxed - how much additional tax will satisfy the politicians?


Posted by Ricky
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Mar 22, 2018 at 3:38 pm

And what about the RV’s which pay $0 in taxes??? At least the homeowners who leverage AirBnB are already paying property taxes.


Posted by Teacher
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 22, 2018 at 4:08 pm

Teacher is a registered user.

Not sure why everyone is so upset by this. Businesses use their assets to make a profit, which gets taxed, and the tax money gets used for the community's services and infrastructure. That's the long-standing social contract.


Posted by @Teacher
a resident of Castro City
on Mar 22, 2018 at 4:24 pm

On top of that, most homeowners here aren't paying anything close to their fair share of property taxes. But, I do like Jim Neal's idea to eliminate zoning!


Posted by Mt. View Neighbor
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 22, 2018 at 4:41 pm

Another way to overtax the little guy. Greed, greed, greed!


Posted by Kal Sandhu
a resident of Castro City
on Mar 22, 2018 at 4:54 pm

Why does the city think its entitled to more and more taxes. They just won't tax the likes of Google as the council is in love with them :) Its amazing that there are those who think that home owners don't pay their share of taxes. Its very tough being a home owner in MV. And what about the RV's? HMmm!


Posted by @Teacher
a resident of Castro City
on Mar 22, 2018 at 4:56 pm

Kal, what's the effective property tax rate on the market value of your house?


Posted by Disruptive Technologies
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Mar 22, 2018 at 5:04 pm

Maybe readers of Townsquare don't get the connection between taxes and a good city in which to live.

Disruptive technologies are called that because they circumvent traditional methods of business. Uber and Lyft don't pay local taxes, but taxi companies do. Hotels customers pay taxes but AirBnB customers do not. In the early days of the internet, shopping online was a way to avoid taxes as well.

Perhaps people who complain about this, desire a no-tax, anarchic society. I for one appreciate the police and fire department being able to respond to my calls. And I enjoy the high quality drinking water that comes out of my faucet. And I appreciate building codes that make it so the place where I work doesn't crash down on my head. Etc.

This is a way for the City to continue to have revenue to provide you a government in the era of disruptive technologies. You still have the right to rent out your home or a room. That has not been taken away from you.


Posted by MV Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 22, 2018 at 5:29 pm

@DisruptiveTechnologies.. The city council just passed a tax on strawman arguments. Their budget for providing oxygen to its residents needs to be paid for somehow.


Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 22, 2018 at 5:36 pm

William Hitchens is a registered user.

I have two problems with Airbnb. First, I want to make sure that rentals don't increase on-street parking problems. Anyone engaged with Airbnb must be forced to make space for their tenants to park on their property and not on MV streets, where they will create clutter and parking problems. 2nd, Airbnb will not list the names and addresses of MV homeowners. MV must insist that we know the names and addresses of ALL property owners who are renting to strangers --- and report them for parking and other violations of MV law.


Posted by @ JIM NEAL
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 22, 2018 at 8:00 pm


I really like JIM NEAL and wish he was on City Council!

The man has good common sense.


Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Mar 22, 2018 at 8:54 pm

psr is a registered user.

@@Teacher
Not paying my "fair share" of taxes? I'll try to remember that when I pay my property tax bill, which is TENS of THOUSANDS of dollars every year. I guess I should be pitching in more so that the city can provide more legal advice to illegal aliens and have the police NOT enforce the law on illegally parked RVs on my nickle rather than have the city stop paying for things they shouldn't be doing in the first place.

@William Hitchens
Do you want the city to enforce those same strictures on the numerous RVs parked all over the city as well? They are here a LOT longer than anyone staying in somebody's house. Also, those residents are allowed street parking for their overnight guests unless there is another ordinance to prevent it. They already pay for that with their tax dollars.

@JIM NEAL
I agree. I have voted for him when he has run and I would do it again. He has far more common sense than anyone currently on the council.


Posted by Overtaxed
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 22, 2018 at 9:08 pm

@ teacher
My property tax bill was $17,000 last year.
I can’t afford anymore taxes..... I don’t rent out my house. I just want to live in peace without my driveway blocked by RVs.


Posted by Diablo
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 22, 2018 at 9:59 pm

For once I completely agree with Jim Neal.


Posted by Tax Air - in limited supply
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 22, 2018 at 10:22 pm

Tax Air - in limited supply is a registered user.

There is only so much air around here. Currently, air is being consumed with no tax collected. What a waste. Tax air consumption to raise needed funds and discourage deep breaths.


Posted by Huh?
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 22, 2018 at 10:44 pm

@ Teacher - "and the tax money gets used for the community's services and infrastructure."

Yes, you're right. The homeowners that pay a significant property tax rent a room in their house out and should be taxed so that they can provide community services such as free lunch in the park to whomever shows up, free "dumping" service to all the RVs parked all over the streets, free legal aid to the illegal immigrants, etc.


Posted by Huh?
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 22, 2018 at 10:52 pm

@ William Hitchens - why should Airbnb tenants be any more restricted on parking than any other rental property or owner-occupied home? There is not an ordinance limiting the number of cars any one homeowner can have nor one limiting the number of cars a renter can own.


Posted by @Teacher
a resident of Castro City
on Mar 23, 2018 at 12:13 am

Why is it that no one complaining about their taxes ever wants to say what their effective tax rate is in the market value of their home? Weird.

psr, feel free to be the first. I'm not holding my breath.


Posted by MyTaxes
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2018 at 11:18 am

@teacher
My property tax rate is 1.17%, which is above the median in California and that doesn't include bond measures. Do you think I should pay more? What is your rate?


Posted by AllYouCanEat
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 23, 2018 at 12:44 pm

VOTE THEM OUT! Naw,thats not going to happen. Same ol same ol here.


Posted by Me
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2018 at 1:09 pm

how do you manage to get your property tax rate to 1.17% when the normal rateis 1%?

fwiw: mine is about 0.5%


Posted by @Me
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2018 at 1:23 pm

There is no way your property tax rate is 0.5%. Post a copy of property tax bill and I will figure out for you.

When you include all the parcel taxes and assessments it is typically between 1.17% to 1.29% of assessed value and under prop 13 is limited to at most a 2% per year increase, which politicians are trying to circumvent with catch messaging about schools which translates into more money for superintendents, administrators, and teachers salaries (yes, in that order).


Posted by MyTaxes
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2018 at 1:25 pm

@Me:
1% is only the general levy.


Posted by MyTaxes
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2018 at 1:35 pm

Is this why people think it's no big deal to raise taxes? They truly don't understand how much they pay or they don't pay them?


Posted by @Teacher
a resident of Castro City
on Mar 23, 2018 at 3:05 pm

MyTaxes, you'll notice that I asked for the effective property tax rate on the market value of your home. "Me" is probably the only one of you that actually did the calculation correctly. Thank you for proving my point.


Posted by MyTaxes
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2018 at 7:03 pm

@Teacher:

You're making a big assumption about when I bought my house.


Posted by @Teacher
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Mar 23, 2018 at 7:14 pm

MyTaxes, that isn't a denial. As the above poster said, post a copy of your property tax bill and let's figure it out.


Posted by MyTaxes
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2018 at 7:27 pm

@Teacher:

Assessed value for property resets to market value (what a willing buyer would pay for it) every time there is a change of ownership on the property.

What's your tax rate? Do you pay property tax?


Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2018 at 8:00 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

If you choose to get into the short-term rental business, you will be required to pay the tax. If you don't get into the business you don't.

It is a choice. You turn your private property into a public business, the rules change. Providing rentals on your property changes the rules because it is not private property anymore. It is public accessible. GFranted you can pass the cost to the customer in the end anyway.

Thus you do not lose anything.


Posted by @Teacher
a resident of Castro City
on Mar 23, 2018 at 8:02 pm

Keep digging, MyTaxes. I love having my point proven.


Posted by @@teacher
a resident of Castro City
on Mar 24, 2018 at 5:37 am

Only point you have made is that you have no idea what people pay for property tax, that's all.


Posted by 22 years mv resident
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 24, 2018 at 8:10 am

There are many zero income tax states. It's a free country. CA never going to be one of them. Think about your options. You only live once, make rational choices. Leave mv to us who love the city, it's taxes, parks and community sercices.


Posted by @Teacher
a resident of Castro City
on Mar 24, 2018 at 8:38 am

My point stands about homeowners not paying their fair share. If that weren't the case, the bulk of you wouldn't be too embarrassed to post your effective property rate on the market value of your home. I at least appreciate the honesty of the person who admitted they pay 0.5%.


Posted by Howard
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 24, 2018 at 3:22 pm

Howard is a registered user.

[Post removed due to promoting a website]


Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 24, 2018 at 7:29 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

Howard,

Please understand that we are not discussing that topic?

Thats all.


Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 26, 2018 at 3:18 pm

William Hitchens is a registered user.

@psr: Little late getting back. To answer your question, I'd do everything legally possible to convince on-street RV dwellers to leave Mountain View for another, more hospitable city. RV's create dangerous auto, pedestrian, and bicycle safety problems, they pollute (trash and sewage), and are a huge public nuisance that affect quality of life in the places where they are allowed to park.


Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Mar 27, 2018 at 12:01 pm

psr is a registered user.

@ William Hitchens

Glad to hear that you are willing to treat the RV parkers at least the same as those who are guests of actual residents (read taxpaying permanent dwellers) of the city. I assume you agree that guests of any resident should be governed by the same set of rules, which means they can park on city streets as long as they move their vehicles every 72 hours.


Posted by BDBD
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 27, 2018 at 12:02 pm

BDBD is a registered user.

Why is everybody arguing about property tax rates? Assuming this works the way it does in other cities, homeowners will simply set a higher price per night on Airbnb, and renters will book the property if it suits them. Airbnb will pay the city a chunk, and the homeowner will get the rest after the site takes its commission. The homeowner's property taxes (and yours, too!) will be unaffected. The net effect of this policy will be higher rates on Airbnb for Mountain View properties.


Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 1, 2018 at 9:45 pm

psr is a registered user.

@BDBD
The point is not property taxes. The point is if it is reasonable for the city to take yet more money from residents when they are doing nothing to deserve it. The city is doing exactly ZERO for the residents and Airbnb users, yet they feel it is somehow their right to tax residents for providing this service to visitors to the area. If they think they should get money in this case, then thy should outline exactly what they plan to provide to deserve it.

@teacher
If you think paying tens of thousands of dollars in property taxes each year is not my "fair share", then I would like you to state precisely what you think IS a "fair share". I'm pretty darn sure that the city isn't providing anywhere near $30,000+ worth of services to my household every year. If you think homeowners don't pay for the services they use, I would like to hear your reasoning, because you have been all bluster and no substance in that area. I personally don't mind paying more to make up for lower bills payed by long-time residents, but paying for services to be given to people here illegally (and who are clearly not paying property taxes) is not something that the city should be doing. Maybe you should direct your contempt toward law-breakers rather than those who benefit from a law you don't happen to like.


Posted by @Teacher
a resident of Castro City
on Apr 1, 2018 at 10:49 pm

@Teacher is a registered user.

psr, your fair share would be assessing taxes on the market rate of your house, not your artificially surpressed valuation. Your reticence to post what actual tax rate you're paying is consistent with the others on here, as you're struggling with the cognitive dissonance of cheating your neighbors and your community. It's certainly a tough pill for the rest of us to swallow when people who own $3M+ houses are paying a <1% property tax rate!


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