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Abingdon to start taxing and regulating Airbnb's

Sign at an Abingdon bed and breakfast.

ABINGDON, Va. -

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Abingdon will start regulating internet-based room rentals, establishing standards, fees and other requirements.

This is after a new Virginia commonwealth law allowing localities to pass those ordinances went into effect earlier this month. Abingdon has a new law that requires Airbnb hosts to register with the town.

Before the new regulation, hosts for services like Airbnb haven't been required to pay Abingdon taxes. But now, they'll have to register with the business and zoning departments. The town will the collect taxes on the room rentals and regulate insurance, structure safety, and serving alcohol. Town Council Member Wayne Craig says he sees the need to implement thee measures.

"At the present time, the homestay, we don't even know where all the homestays are, and we would like to place some reasonable regulations on them," Craig said.

Owners of local bed and breakfasts said they haven't seen any impact from the competition. But, they agreed with Craig that internet based rentals should face the same regulations that they do.

"If anyone thinks that this is an attempt to put homestays out of business, that is not the intent at all," Craig said.

Corry Turner rents out a room in his home through Airbnb.

"I don't think that they're gouging us," Turner said. "It's less, it's about, it's a little over $20 a year, and 7 percent of the room fee. But if you pay it on time or ahead of time, it's only 2 percent."

Corry intends to keep displaying his paintings and allowing guests to stay in his home.

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