Lawmakers Impose New Taxes On Short-term Rental Owners

Apr 29, 2019
Rep. Matt Lehman (R-Berne) has helped lead the General Assembly’s work on the issue of short term rentals. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Hoosiers who rent out their homes through platforms such as Airbnb will now have to pay sales and innkeeper’s taxes to the state.

Senate Panels Signs Off On Short-term Rental Taxes

Feb 12, 2019
Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Ogden Dunes) says her bill doesn’t impact those who rent out their homes for 15 days a year or less. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Short-term rental owners would have to pay sales and innkeeper taxes under legislation approved by a Senate committee Tuesday.

The measure follows up on last year’s bill to regulate those who rent their homes.

AFP / Getty Images

A bill passed earlier this year by the Indiana General Assembly allowing cities to charge registration fees to those who rent property on sites such as Airbnb doesn’t appear to have hurt revenues in Greater Lafayette.

Airbnb officials say fans flocking to Purdue home football games this fall ballooned the profits of Greater Lafayette Airbnb hosts, who made close to $34,000 from the 370 guests staying for the Ohio State game alone, which amounts to an average of about $91 per guest.

Airbnb usage in Tippecanoe County has risen considerably in the past 12 months.

A Purdue professor has found that rooms rented on sites such as Airbnb benefit white neighborhoods, but do less good for black and Latino areas.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

State lawmakers recently passed a bill allowing municipalities to regulate room rentals on websites like AirBnb.

That came after the City of Lafayette passed an ordinance with very similar language making people who rent their rooms on such sites pay a registration fee.

This week on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, we’ll find out from Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski how many people have already registered and how the city plans to track down those who don’t pay the fee.

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

The House sent legislation to the governor Tuesday blocking local governments from banning short-term rentals such as Airbnb - while still allowing units to regulate the industry.

The bill says local governments can require permits for short-term rentals, with a one-time fee of up to $150. And Rep. Matt Lehman (R-Berne) says the bill allows local units to revoke those licenses after repeated complaints.

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

Legislation to regulate short-term rentals such as Airbnb may undergo some tweaks in the Senate.

The measure prohibits local governments from banning short-term rentals. It does allow locals to require permits for those who use platforms such as Airbnb. And it says municipalities can charge a permit fee of up to $150.

But it’s silent on how often local units can charge that fee. The bill’s author, Rep. Matt Lehman (R-Berne) says he wants to clarify that rental owners only need to pay when they first receive the permit.


A House committee easily advanced legislation Tuesday that would block local governments from banning short-term rentals such as Airbnb.

No one spoke in opposition during the committee hearing.

The bill would allow local governments to require permits for those who operate short-term rentals. It would also allow a $150 fee for those permits.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

There’s a meeting scheduled for later this month in Lafayette to talk about the city’s drug addiction issues. Registration to speak was so popular the venue had to be changed to accommodate more people.

This week on WBAA’s “Ask The Mayor,” we chat with Lafayette’s Tony Roswarski about what that says for a city that’s struggled to even keep drug use from growing in recent years.

A study committee’s proposed recommendations on short-term rentals through sites like Airbnb include broad policy statements for the General Assembly to consider next session. But the recommendations don’t include specific legislative language, and likely don’t change debate on the issue.

Legislation last session to bar local governments from banning short-term rentals failed to pass.