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Baltimore County withdraws bill to tax online vacation home rentals

Baltimore County officials on Tuesday withdrew legislation that would have made online vacation rentals pay the local hotel tax.

The bill proposed by County Executive Kevin Kamenetz's administration would have let the county impose its 8 percent tax on rentals made through companies such as Airbnb, FlipKey, HomeAway and VRBO. It also would have required a county license for such rentals.

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County Council members were scheduled to discuss the bill Tuesday. Ellen Kobler, a spokeswoman for Kamenetz, said the administration withdrew the legislation because council members wanted to see what happens in Annapolis, where state lawmakers are debating how to regulate and tax short-term rentals.

County Council Chairman Tom Quirk, a Catonsville Democrat, said some of his colleagues thought it would be best to wait for the outcome of the state legislation before taking up the issue locally.

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Some council members also had "concerns about broadening a tax to include what are, in many cases, mom-and-pop businesses," said Councilman David Marks, a Perry Hall Republican.

County budget officials estimated that there are more than 80 Airbnb rentals in the county. They said the legislation would generate between $41,500 and $54,000 annually.

alisonk@baltsun.com

twitter.com/aliknez


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