DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — For the past several years, Dothan has been working to come up with regulations for nearly 70 short-term rentals in the circle city after there have been numerous complaints from residents in established neighborhoods.
“A lot of people have been moving in and out and that can be unsettling and of course the parties,” Planning Director Todd Mcdonald said. “We have looked at other places like the college towns, beaches, and other tourist spots and they all seem to have some kind of short-term regulation.”
During the commission meeting on Tuesday, the city amended the city’s zoning ordinance and is now requiring a $100 business license for short-term rental owners.
“People who want to operate as a short-term rental whether it be in their house or as a commercial operation it has to be licensed and they have to pay lodging taxes,” McDonald said.
McDonald said owners will be required to show proof of paying their lodging taxes when they renew their business license each year.
“We are working with a third-party company that deals with short-term rental lodging tax and they keep track of them within city limits,” He said.
Now that they have gotten to the bottom of regulating short-term rentals, he believes the hard part will be the implementing process.
“Now we have to identify who it is and everybody has to be licensed we dont know if all the ones now will want to license and if they dont get license they cant exist,” McDonald said.
Its unclear on how that will have an impact on the lodging tax.
“They will get the license their first year but will have to pay the lodgix tax of the first year the second year,” He said.
The license applicaion process will be on the city’s website some time this week.