City of Greenville joins lawsuit against short term rental companies

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)–The City of Greenville has joined a long list of South Carolina cities in a lawsuit against short term rentals like Airbnb and Vrbo.

Short term rentals are gaining traction in South Carolina, but it’s causing issues for local cities.

“This industry should fall under the same regulation of our hotels,” City of Greenville spokesperson Beth Brotherton said.

Greenville has joined up with cities including Charleston, Myrtle Beach, and Hilton Head in a lawsuit against short term rental companies.

“This lawsuit originated down on the coast with cities like Charleston, Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach. And a recognition that a lot of folks were relying on this new trend of short term rentals,” Brotherton said. “Short term rentals are getting around some of the tax rules, and the city really isn’t seeing the benefits that they’re owed.”

The lawsuit says this fee needs to be worked into the booking process.

“It’s no different than staying in a hotel room,” Brotherton said.

Vrbo tells 7News they follow tax requirements saying: “we remain focused on working closely with our South Carolina hosts and local communities to promote economic recovery.”

“It needs to be part of the process, and there was a lot of money that wasn’t collected that is now owed,” Brotherton said.

Those taxes go to things like promoting tourism marketing in the City of Greenville.

Airbnb did not respond to request for comment.

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