To the editor of THE EAGLE:
Your Oct. 5 story "Call for action on illegal rentals in Lenox" details some legitimate and some hysterical concerns about short-term rentals in Lenox. Many cities are grappling with the appropriate regulatory approach to short-term rentals and there are many interests and concerns to consider.
However, I would strongly urge your town to not go down the path of cease-and-desist letters, fines and other heavy-handed approaches. Often the facts get lost in short-term rental regulation proceedings.
The truth is short-term rentals are often families and other tourists who bring enormous economic benefits to communities. Fair, reasonable and easy to-understand short-term rental regulations, such as the ones adopted in the Coachella Valley of California, lead to widespread compliance and strike the right balance for all to enjoy the benefits of short-term rentals. Palm Springs, Calif. -- one such example -- passed reasonable laws that led the city to register more than 550 properties and bring in an additional $600,000 in tax revenue (http://vacationrentalcompliance.com/about_us.)
Short-term rentals help fuel a robust tourism economy by giving travelers and families more accommodation options, which they so clearly want. A recent poll (www.stradvocacy.org/pollfindsstrongsuppor) found one in five Americans used a short-term rental this summer. For more information on great examples of short-term rental regulations go to www.stradvocacy.org/learn. TIM DOYLE
The writer is spokesman for The Short Rental Advocacy Center.