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House Bill 471 — Sales tax, short-term rentals

House Bill 471 — Sales tax, short-term rentals

Wayne Hoffman
February 1, 2022

Bill Description: House Bill 471 expands the definition of what is considered a short-term rental in Idaho.

Rating: 0

Does it directly or indirectly create or increase any taxes, fees, or other assessments? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce any taxes, fees, or other assessments?

House Bill 471 would add to the definition of a short-term rental to include "a hotel, motel, campground, room, place for lodging or accommodations, or any other place to sleep." This would add accommodations to the definition to include RV campsites and couches.¹ In doing so, it appears that this would free such accommodations from local regulation and taxes assessed under the short-term rental statute.


Does it create, expand, or enlarge any agency, board, program, function, or activity of government? Conversely, does it eliminate or curtail the size or scope of government?

However, in expanding the definition to include campgrounds and other types of sleeping accommodations, the statute expands to include new kinds of "short-term" rentals facing oversight from the state Tax Commission. 


Analyst Note: The argument in support of this legislation, per the Statement of Purpose, is that there is some confusion about the application of the marketplace facilitator law that was implemented in 2019 in response to the Wayfair decision in the U.S. Supreme Court. For the purposes of this analysis, however, it appears that the addition of the language in lines 27-34 on page 1 represents a clarification of the application, which is important to taxpayers, but because it does not change the state’s approach to tax policy, it is secondary to this analysis. 

More interesting, as noted here, is how the short-term rental statute that was passed by the Legislature in 2017 is changing. The focus then was on short-term rentals such as Airbnb and VRBO. This proposal deviates from the original focus of the short-term rental statute so that it is much more encompassing, which has pros and cons.

1. While it might sound silly to argue, there are now websites and phone apps that direct users to campgrounds and couches in people’s homes. As this statute reads, an unsuspecting host could find himself in conflict with Idaho state government for failing to properly register and remit taxes.

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