Biloxi city leaders to consider short-term rentals - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Biloxi city leaders to consider short-term rentals

Chateau Blessey Bed-and-Breakfast is located on the north side of Highway 90. (Photo Source: WLOX News) Chateau Blessey Bed-and-Breakfast is located on the north side of Highway 90. (Photo Source: WLOX News)
Walter Blessey is open to the idea of short term rentals under certain conditions. (Photo Source: WLOX News) Walter Blessey is open to the idea of short term rentals under certain conditions. (Photo Source: WLOX News)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

When the Blessey's opened their historic beachfront home in Biloxi as a bed-and-breakfast years ago, they had to jump through hoops to acquire all the permitting required to house guests, said Walter Blessey. If city leaders pass short-term rentals, Blessey hopes those property owners will be asked to do the same.

“I don’t have a problem with that if that also includes the individual owner of the property has to have the sales tax permit and has to collect the sales tax and the special room tax,” said Blessey.

The Biloxi Planning Commission is recommending that owners of property zoned for commercial business, residential business, or waterfront properties be allowed to have short-term rentals. Those in residential areas would have a more demanding process to go through, called a conditional use, which means a case-by-case basis.

“The emphasis to me is the collection of the tax because it's an important tax,” said Blessey. “It's a revenue base for the city, and if you’re going to take a room rent away from a motel that has to collect the tax then you should be collecting and paying the tax.”

Although the issue hasn't gone before the council yet, Blessey is hopeful it will work out for everyone.

“I think competition is good for everybody,” he said. “We stay as busy as we want to be, and there's room for everybody. Just everybody needs to be on the same playing field.”

The council is expected to review the topic at some point in the coming weeks.

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