Bend cracks down on vacation-rental tax evaders

Audit expanded to include homes rented to travelers

BEND, Ore. - The city of Bend said Friday it is conducting an independent audit of transient room tax collections that's expanded to include vacation rental properties not registered with the city.

TRT is the tax paid when someone stays at a hotel, motel or rental property in Bend.  This year, the expanded audit is "an effort to increase awareness and compliance with the TRT code," the city's announcement stated.

These types of rental properties are typically advertised on websites like VRBO, Craigslist and AirBnB. 

Currently, 189 vacation rental properties are registered with the city and are collecting and remitting TRT taxes, the city said.

The issue of some vacation rentals not paying the tax was brought up several times in recent discussions with lodging operators that led the city council to put a proposed increase in the transient room tax on the November ballot.

The city has contracted with an independent firm, MuniServices, specializing in tax compliance audits for local governments, to perform a compliance audit and establish a comprehensive list of vacation rentals currently out of compliance with the TRT code. 

The audit is scheduled to take place through August.  Following the initial audit, the city said it "will continue efforts to enforce TRT compliance amongst rental properties."

If you own a vacation rental and are currently not registered or unaware of the city's TRT code, the city asked that you visit bendoregon.gov/roomtax.

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