Full Consent Agenda Passes, Short Term Rental Tax Tabled

CLARKESVILLE - Concerned citizens spoke out in opposition yesterday to a proposed amendment to the Habersham County Code of Ordinances Chapter 58 Taxation, Article III that would place short term rentals (AirBNB, VRBO, etc.)  in the same category as hotels and motels.  The amendment would in turn force the Motel Excise Tax on all short term rental properties on every rental, as well as change the records management from the County Clerk to the County Manager's office, and mandate a business license for all those operating short term rentals.  The issue raised by citizens is that forcing short term rentals to apply this tax would hurt tourism and cause those wanting to rent in Habersham County to look elsewhere.  "We offer a high end service, with a high end environment," Tricia Hise states while saying that her rental business is not even in the same category as a hotel or motel.  "My fear is that what is proposed will have a greater negative impact on our county than a positive impact on our county," states Ivy Hall.  By the time that this came to a vote, the commissioners had decided to table the language that would enforce the tax until later next year, while still accomplishing the mandate of a business license, and the administrative dealing of records management.

The items on the consent agenda are listed below, with no comment or opposition to the list:

CONSENT AGENDA:
a. Consider/Approve the Minutes of the Commission Work Session held Monday November 19, 2018
b. Consider/Approve the Minutes of the Commission Meeting held Monday November 19, 2018
c. Consider/Approve the Minutes of the Commission Work Session held December14, 2018
d. Consider/Approve Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Demorest for Animal Control
e. Consider/Approve Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Clarkesville for Animal Control
f. Consider/Approve Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Clarkesville for Radio Maintenance Fees
g. Consider/Approve Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Cornelia for Animal Control
h. Consider/Approve Letter of Engagement with Stifel to Represent Habersham County’s Interests in Securing Financing for the New Jail
i. Consider/Approve Allocation of Remaining Bicentennial Sponsorship Funds
j. Consider/Approve Purchase of (1)16KW Generator for the Administration Building from J&T Service Center, Inc.
k. Consider/Approve Board of Tax Assessors Affidavit 2018-06
l. Consider/Approve Board of Tax Assessors Affidavit 2018-07
m. Consider/Approve Donation of Ford F-250 to the Habersham County Board of Education
n. Consider/Approve Budget Adjustment 2019-04
o. Consider/Approve Professional Services Proposal for Relocation of Fire Station 12 and New Fire/EMS/E-911/EOC Headquarters with Precision Planning, Inc.
p. Consider/Approve Purchase of (2) 2019 Dodge Chargers for the Sheriff’s Department
q. Consider/Approve Alcoholic Beverage License Renewal/Application for:
1. The Orchard Golf and Country Club, LLC located at 1057 Orchard DriveSales of Malted Beverages and Wine for Consumption on the Premises
2. HLK LLC dba EZ Trip located at 2368 Highway 115-Sales of Malted Beverages and Wine
3. Clarkesville Citgo located at 305 Panther Brook Lane- Sales of Malted Beverages and Wine
4. Virannis Business, Inc. dpa BP Food Mart located at 310 Toccoa Highway- Sales of Malted Beverages and Wine
5. Mickey Piggs located at 256 Anderson Circle- Sales of Malted Beverages and Wine for Consumption on the Premises
6. Brooks Lil’ General Store located at 15838 Burton Dam Road- Sales of Malted Beverages and Wine
7. Lodhi 4 Food Mart located at 1941 Hwy 105- Sales of Malted Beverages and Wine
8. Circle K located at 5000 Talmadge Drive- Sales of Malted Beverages and Wine