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City of Laurel passes ordinance regulating Airbnbs

Photo courtesy of Airbnb/Facebook

In large part due to Erin and Ben Napier’s hit TV show, Home Town, the tourism industry in Laurel has been booming — which has forced the city council to take a closer look at regulating Airbnbs.

On Tuesday, the council passed an ordinance that limits the number of Airbnbs allowed in residential areas within city limits. The main concern, according to Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee is to keep single-family homes in the same neighborhood.

“You can have one Airbnb in your main house,” Magee told WDAM. “If you have a separate structure behind your house, which a lot of areas in the historic district do, you can have another Airbnb in one of the houses behind your main house.”

Those that already have multiple Airbnbs on a property are an exception to the rule, but for any new hosts, there’s a limit of one Airbnb per house. All hosts will now have to pay a yearly fee that coincides with the city’s recently-passed hotel and tourism tax.

“We also passed a 3% tax on hotels,” Magee continued. “We will also collect from the Airbnbs at 3%, which will go toward tourism in the city of Laurel.”

Anyone wanting more information regarding setting up an Airbnb in Laurel can contact either the mayor’s office at (601)428-6402 or the City of Laurel Inspection Department.

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