Thank you for your article on the City of Carmel’s consideration of what to “do” about its citizens renting their homes on occasion through portals such as Airbnb.
It seems the mayor’s inclination is to tax, regulate and outlaw in some combination. This is an itch that does not need scratching. My suggestion is that until there is a good reason to do so, that homeowners should continue to be free to make choices about occasionally letting their homes for a few nights or a week. Until the citizenry proves it cannot be trusted to be responsible and safe, leave them (us) alone. Making a few dollars occasionally off of one’s house (or anything else) does not necessarily render it a “business,” and I’m sure there is ample civil case law to support that notion.
If local hoteliers are truly being burdened and are losing a lot of business in Hamilton County due to “competition” from homeowners, let them open their books at upcoming public city council meetings (as an aside, why are hotels seemingly being built left and right?).
Hotel owners saying “it’s not fair” does not constitute a “problem.” If the mayor and Carmel City Council truly can’t help themselves and insist upon solving a problem that doesn’t yet exist, I say the reasonable alternative is to authorize and/or empower homeowners associations (without undue influence from the city), which can decide by a vote.
In any event, let’s have more dialogue before kowtowing to the lodging lobby.
Rob Akerhielm, Carmel