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Community News

Posted on: November 10, 2021

Short-term rental registration deadline approaching

There are several changes for short-term rental owners and operators to be aware of as we near the close of the year. 

First, all short-term rentals operating within the City of Galveston are required to register their properties by December 31, 2021. In addition, the Galveston City Council earlier this year passed an ordinance requiring any advertisement for a Galveston vacation rental to contain the unit’s registration number and requiring listing agents Airbnb and Vrbo to remit city hotel tax.

ANNUAL REGISTRATION 

The Galveston City Council enacted a new City ordinance (21-051) this summer requiring all vacation rental owners to register their properties with the Park Board on an annual basis. There is a $50 annual fee for the registration.

If property owners registered their property or renewed their registration in 2021, the registration is valid until December 31, 2022. Owners will then be required to renew their registration annually by December 31 each following year. 

If property owners have not registered their property or renewed their registration in 2021, they have until December 31, 2021, to register the property. Failure to do so will result in their registration becoming invalid and they will be prevented from listing the property on all STR platforms, including Airbnb and VRBO. 

The requirement to register applies to all vacation rental owners, even if they have already registered their property in a year prior to 2021. 

Registration is quick and easy: 

TAX COLLECTION 

Short-term rental operators are required to collect and remit state and local hotel occupancy tax, similar to motel and hotel businesses. The total tax rate is 15 percent, with 9 percent of that remitted locally. Earlier this year, the Galveston City Council passed an ordinance requiring any advertisement for a Galveston vacation rental to contain the unit’s registration number and requiring listing agents Airbnb and Vrbo to remit city hotel tax. The arrangement eases the burden on property owners.

Rental property owners will still be responsible for submitting payment for transactions that occur on any other platform or by any other means (verbal, by phone, email, etc.) The only exception is for vacation rental owners that use a management company that collects and remits HOT on their behalf. 

Owners generally submit tax collected on rental income quarterly to the Park Board. 

If you have any questions or need more information: 

 

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