February 14, 2022 6:00am

What should Baton Rouge do about short-term rentals? Here's what our respondents said.

They have nuanced views on how the rentals should be regulated.

Photo of Matthew Albright
By Matthew Albright
Baton Rouge, LA Correspondent

This month, we asked our readers to weigh in on short-term rentals, like AirBNB and Vrbo. A lot of travelers love these services for the flexibility and variety they provide, but some worry about the impact they have on residential areas. Baton Rouge is in the process of writing new regulations for the rentals.

Our respondents don't find short-term rentals as controversial as they have been in some cities, like New Orleans. Most said the rentals either don't have a significant impact on the city or have a positive impact.

One potential reason for that? Our respondents generally find short-term rentals useful themselves. More than half have used one of the rentals multiple times and another 22% said they use them "frequently."

Some short-term rentals are smaller setups where the owner just rents a room on the property where they live. But some owners go with "whole house" rentals, where they don't live on the property and mainly use it for renting — and those are more controversial. Our respondents think whole-house rentals ought to be legal, but most think they should be strictly regulated.

It's a similar story on taxes. Almost all our respondents thought those owners who just rent a room should not pay sales and use taxes like hotels do — but most thought whole-house renters should.

About Power Poll: Power Poll asks questions of the most powerful, influential people in U.S. cities. It is not a scientific survey. But because the people responding to the surveys comprise the leadership structure of their cities, the results afford a fascinating glimpse into the thoughts, opinions, and beliefs of those in a position to make change. Power Poll is distinctly nonpartisan.

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