Aerials of the Sunshine Coast taken on Thursday 23 October, 2014 for advertising feature:Noosa Main Beach.Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily
Aerials of the Sunshine Coast taken on Thursday 23 October, 2014 for advertising feature:Noosa Main Beach.Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily Brett Wortman

Smaller levy for 'home hosted'

CHANGES to short-term rental property charges under Noosa Shire Council's tourism levy are likely to be announced at today's budget meeting in council chambers, where principal places of residence being used for short-term letting will only pay a third of the set levy rate -in-the dollar.

Mayor Tony Wellington said research showed no more than 38 per cent of properties listed on sites such as Airbnb were "home-hosted”.

"Although there has been no change to the rate of the levy charged, there's a slight change to how it is applied to short-term rental properties,” the mayor said.

"Online short-term properties have always been subject to the levy, as have other types of tourism accommodation.

"But once the budget is adopted, principal places of residence being used for short-term letting will only pay 33.3 per cent of the set rate-in-the dollar for their levy.”

Cr Wellington said council recognised there was a significant difference between a home being used to let out a spare bedroom as opposed to an entire house that was only ever occupied by tourists.

"According to research by both Deloittes and Inside Airbnb, the majority of properties listed on short-term on-line rental platforms are entire houses or apartments, not private homes,” he said.

"Although platforms such as Airbnb insist on referring to their clients as "hosts”, in fact the properties that are truly home-hosted only comprise between 30 and 38 per cent of all listings.”

"The rest are generally investment properties rented all year round.”

Council recognised all short-term rental properties undoubtedly benefited from the destination marketing that is funded via the levy.

"However, there is likely to be a significant difference between the income of a home owner casually letting a bedroom versus an investment property being let all year round,” he said.

"And so we have come up with a formula whereby entire properties pay the full levy, just as they always have done, while those partially letting their principal place of residence will pay substantially less.”