June 22, 2017

As Vermont’s Airbnb Scene Grows, Small Towns Struggle With Regulation



Photo of LG Smartphone with Airbnb logotype on the screen
Copyright: gyddik / 123RF Stock Photo

Some of the people who live in West Dummerston want the town to clamp down on Airbnb rentals in the village. Across Vermont, Airbnb rentals increased by 87 percent last year, but the state has little oversight over the online service. Airbnb reached an agreement with the state last year to collect the rooms and meals tax from Vermonters who use the online service to rent out their property. But in some communities, the issues raised by Airbnb go beyond dollars and cents.

The town of Dummerston wants to clamp down on some Airbnb rentals after some neighbors complained about how the service was affecting West Dummerston, one of the town’s compact neighborhoods.

Things don’t change a whole lot in the village of West Dummerston. There’s a church. And a grange, and a lazy country road with historic homes and well-tended gardens.

Beverly Tier lives in the village, and she says when a neighbor down the street started renting out her place on ​Airbnb, people noticed.

“This is a quiet little community,” Tier says. “We know who our neighbors are, and when we have Airbnb people come, we don’t know who our neighbors are. There […]

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