Transient occupancy tax; any county may levy tax on single-family residences. (SB342)

Introduced By

Sen. Emmett Hanger (R-Mount Solon)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Transient occupancy tax. Provides that any county, by duly adopted ordinance, may levy a transient occupancy tax on single-family residences rented out for continuous occupancy for fewer than 30 consecutive days. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/12/2010Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/10 10101409D
01/12/2010Referred to Committee on Finance
01/19/2010Impact statement from TAX (SB342)
01/26/2010Reported from Finance with amendments (15-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/27/2010Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/28/2010Read second time
01/28/2010Reading of amendments waived
01/28/2010Committee amendment #1 agreed to
01/28/2010Committee amendment #2 rejected
01/28/2010Reading of amendment waived
01/28/2010Amendment by Senator Norment agreed to
01/28/2010Engrossed by Senate as amended SB342E
01/28/2010Printed as engrossed 10101409D-E
01/29/2010Read third time and passed Senate (31-Y 9-N) (see vote tally)
02/08/2010Placed on Calendar
02/08/2010Read first time
02/08/2010Referred to Committee on Finance
02/12/2010Impact statement from TAX (SB342E)
02/16/2010Assigned Finance sub: #1
02/24/2010Subcommittee recommends reporting (6-Y 3-N)
03/01/2010Reported from Finance with amendment (13-Y 9-N) (see vote tally)
03/02/2010Read second time
03/03/2010Read third time
03/03/2010Committee amendment agreed to
03/03/2010Defeated by House (42-Y 56-N)
03/03/2010VOTE: --- DEFEATED (42-Y 56-N) (see vote tally)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 1 clip in all, totaling 1 minute.


Wayne Lewandowski writes:


Didn't we go through this last year? When are you going to realize that VA has a strong basis of vacation homes that are key part of our economic base? Is now really the best time to depress real estate and tourism dollars with a tax

Rob Smith writes:

I don't need to be taxed to go on vacation, do I? Do I also need to be taxed if I need temporary shelter due to a disaster to my chief place of residence? Travel campgrounds? Taxing people to come into Virginia to visit? I apologize but I think this legislation will be a little too entangling for the Commonwealth.

Barry Mark writes:

Senator Hanger: Once again the folks trying to ban short-term rentals in Massanutten have gotten you to do their dirty work. This is yet another of your attempts to ban a practice that takes place throughout Virginia and the country and provides folks a service they can't get from a hotel. You keep disguising this "a way to generate revenue" and "a leveling of the playing fields" but in reality this is you trying to accomodate a constituent that wants to BAN SHORT-TERM RENTALS. I hope when we ask to see your contibutors there is not a bunch of donations from those folks - if so, the newspapers will have a field day.

Barry Bless writes:

This bill does not address the concerns of the citizens who opposed and defeated the same bill last year. It puts single-family residences in the same category with businesses such as hotels and motels for the first time in the Virginia Code. The unintended (I hope unintended) consequences for many Virginians, is to make the renting of one’s home for periods of 30 days, or less, a violation of their subdivision restrictions and/or local zoning law. This bill attempts to override precedence in the Virginia Code, and opinions by the Virginia State Supreme Court, that renting out a single family residence, no matter the length of time, is not to be considered, for reasons of zoning, or legal definition, a commercial or business use.

robert legge writes:

What's the big objection? This bill doesn't tax anyone. It allows the local governing body to do that if they wish. More Judge Dillon stuff. Aren't these houses rented to out of country visitors. Why shouldn't they pay the same as they would if it was a motel. Is this really going to ruin the house rental biz?

Ryan writes:

Senator Hanger:

Why won't you return my calls? We defeated this bill each year for the past three years. We will defeat this bill as well. In response to Robert Legge, I am not personally opposed to being taxed for my short-term rental. But you do not understand the ridiculous five-year losing battle that opponents of short-term rentals have waged. Part of their plan (short-sited and stupid as it is), is to tax short-term rentals and then try to reclassify us as copmmercial use. That would prohibit short-term rentals. I actually don't believe this bill does that, but then why won't Senator Hanger simply make clear that this bill does not change the residential nature of short-term rentals? We have asked for that for three years. He knows our objection. Please let's just do something reasonable and make sure this bill can do what it needs to.

kaye writes:

I believe our new Governor has promised to veto any new tax bills. . . .I guess we will see. Timeshares,like hotels are not included in this bill. Homes not like hotels are already taxed again and again. Rental home owners already pay tax on earned income (if any) they pay property taxes. Senator Hanger, you are the true Tax and Spend Republican. . . yes Republican.

Chuck H. writes:

Sen. Hanger,
I am in your district (Staunton) and have always been impressed by your honesty and effort. I would hope that this tax is not levied. But if it is, please add the clause that keeps from destroying the status of the rental homes. Although I don't like new taxes, I would not oppose this one if the clause were added. Bills should do what they are designed to do - raise taxes in this case; not the exact opposite - destroy the tax base.

Jan writes:

Sen. Hanger,

I am also in your district, and know that it is certainly time for us to collect the same taxes that other transients pay when they stay in our communities. Nobody LIKES paying the extra few dollars in taxes that one pays when staying at a hotel or motel. However, we all need to pay our fair share, so again I thank you Sen.Hanger, for your efforts to make sure that happens. Enough with the free ride.

Michael Houliston writes:

This bill makes sense. Renting on a short term basis in resort areas is a business and should be taxed like hotels and motels are taxed.

Lucy Powell writes:

Rob Smith should know if he goes anywhere on vacation he is going to be taxed. Motels, hotels, rental cars, etc. etc are all taxed. Almost everything you do on vacation has a built-in tax. That should include short-term rentals as well - they are a business. This is a common sense bill. Thank you, Senator Hanger.

James C. Powell writes:

Senator Hanger,
This a fair bill. Houses that are rented by the day are hotels and as such their customers should pay hotel taxes just as Hampton Inn's customers pay taxes for the use of Hampton Inn's property.

Senator Hanger I commend you for introducing this fair tax bill and the Virgina Senate for passing the bill.


J. C. Powell

Bob Bloomquist writes:

Mr. Ryan should take a minute to read that this bill was introduced at the request of the County Board of Supervisors .

Marty Wall writes:

It's good to see the resort Virginia industry coming in to the 21st century. Everywhere I go on vacation there are taxes for lodging, meals, gas, etc. This tax is an equitable levy to fund for costs incurred by the local areas for public services provided. Let's hope the House has the good sense to pass it as well.

Pat Wall writes:

I agree this is a common sense bill. As stated above, where ever you go on vacation there is a hospitality tax on lodging, meals, etc. Thank you Senator Hangar for introducing this bill. I do hope the House follows the Senate's footsteps.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Sen. Hanger's SB662 (Short-term rental property tax; local government to exempt person engaged in rental business) would allow any locality to exempt from this tax any owner of a short-term rental facility, provided that they make less $25,000 in income from that rental property.

Given the combination of these two bills, I assume that anybody who remains strongly opposed to this bill probably isn't the casual, transient landlord that they claim to be.

Neal Woodard writes:

If all other types of vacation rentals are taxed why should this one category be left out? That would be an injustice to others in the leisure rental business. Anyone who rents their property to multiple persons during multiple intervals within a year does so with a business intent.

Like our newly elected Governor, I'm not in favor of new taxes, but this one isn't new - it simply includes a category that in fairness should have been included all along.

Sally writes:

At least 38 Virginia counties already charge this reasonable tax. It is about time Rockingham County joined the ranks of jurisdictions wise enough to capture this additional income. Good job, Senator Hanger. Thank you.

Gene writes:

It should be emphasized that this Bill would NOT result in a new tax. Many counties in Virginia already charge the transient occupancy tax on short-term rentals. The Bill merely is a Code clarification for those few counties who still wonder whether it is possible under the existing Code. The Senate passed the same Bill last year. It was tabled last year in a House Finance Subcommittee using politics by special interest groups. I say, let's put it up for a vote, see if it passes, and see if the Governor signs it.

If it becomes law, it may help save jobs of teachers who are being laid off because of county and state budget cuts. When tourists come to certain counties in Virginia and they decide to stay in short-term (vacation) rentals instead of local hotels/motels, let them be charged the same transient occupancy tax. For that matter, they state should also be charged a Retail Sales and Use tax. The tourism industry provides a large tax base for our neighboring state of Tennessee -- who does not have a state income tax. We need to do start doing this in Virginia.

Peggy Ciniero writes:

This is a fair bill. Short-term rentals are a business, and as such should be subject to this tax. thank you Senator Hanger.

Barry Elwood writes:

Senator Hanger,
First, Thank You for sponsoring this bill. Virginia single family homes, in residental neighborhoods are being rented as "vacation" or "short-term rentals" to make money for profit! As a previous comment stated; "they are key part of the VA economic base." So, regardless of how these business operators/renters try to spin it, they are running businesses and should be licensed and taxed the same as any other business owner/operator in Virginia.

Trish Philon writes:

Thank you, Senator Hanger, for enabling county Boards of Supervisors to impose a fair tax on short-term rental businesses of residential properties. Your bill clarifies their authority to tax these businesses as motels, inns, and hotels are taxed.

James writes:

Yes thank you for showing your true colors. God forbide a family decides to rent their place out to make a few extra dollars to pay this stupid high taxes. Its starting to really get to the point of being to expencive in Va beach for a working family. Oh and what does this mean for private property rights??? Means governemnt owns it, EVERYONE is simply renting from the government. Dont pay your property taxes and all that youve worked so hard for is gone. While I dont condone not paying your taxes, I do advacate Private property rights and that means NO property taxes and Stop telling me where I can put my shed. USA IS becoming USSA. If everyone else can make rules on what you can do on your own property then you dont own it. Think about it!!! who owns your property?

Waldo Jaquith writes:

While I dont condone not paying your taxes, I do advacate Private property rights and that means NO property taxes and Stop telling me where I can put my shed. USA IS becoming USSA.

Actually, property taxes go back to the 1400s. Many of the American colonies funded their role in the Revolutionary War by way of levying property taxes. By the late 1700s, most states had property taxes. There were ongoing disputes as to whether the taxes should be by acre, or by an assessed value. (Rural folks argued that their land was worth a lot less, because it was so far from urban services.) Andrew Jackson was a big proponent of standardized taxes (that is, not assessment-based), and pushed that as president. It was in the twentieth century that there was a wholesale move to using assessments to determine the per-parcel taxation rate, which is now standard.

My point is that your understanding about property taxes is entirely wrong. This nation was founded on and funded by property taxes. They've been with us since the founding fathers, and they remain strongly supported by the most conservative economists as (they argue) the fairest method of taxation. If you believe that property taxes are communistic in nature, then you must also believe that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, etc., were ardent communists. So what I'm saying is that you might rethink this position of yours, James.

Chuck Hawkins writes:

Bummer. I sort of like the bill this year because it made the point that our houses were indeed residential uses. Alas. It isn't black or white that worries everyone, it is the unpredictability of gray that keeps people from making buying decisions and moving forward. The worst thing that govt can do vis-a-vis business is be indecisive.