Clark County to add short-term rental fines to tax bill

sprawling suburbs
The sprawling suburbs of Clark County. (Photo by Nevada Department of Transportation)
sprawling suburbs
The sprawling suburbs of Clark County. (Photo by Nevada Department of Transportation)

Clark County has a new weapon against homeowners who lease their properties as short-term rentals, which are illegal in the county. 

Until now, county officials have tried to penalize short-term rental owners by assessing a $1,000 a day fine and placing a lien on the property for the amount fined. But liens can remain on properties for years with the underlying debt unpaid. 

“A lien on the property has not been effective with some homeowners,” Code Enforcement Administrator Jim Anderson told commissioners.

Beginning after Labor Day, property owners who violate the code will receive an assessment for the fine in their property tax bill. Under state law, the homeowner will have two and a half years to pay the assessment before the county can sell the property at auction. 

“I think they should get one day’s notice and if they don’t comply we should be able to go in and shut them down,” said Commission chairwoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick. “But that’s not due process.”

Kirkpatrick suggested the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority work with McCarran International Airport to institute an advertising campaign to combat short-term rentals.

“Let’s remind tourists to stay on the Strip or downtown,” she said. 

“The LVCVA’s job is to get people here,” said marketing guru Billy Vassiliadis of R&R Partners in an interview Tuesday. R&R has had the LVCVA’s advertising contract since 1980. “We don’t spend a lot in-market.” 

Vassiliadis, who is also the lobbyist for Expedia, a short-term rental platform, says he doesn’t know if the county’s ban of short-term rentals is the best approach. 

“For tourism, there needs to be accountability and oversight,” says Vassiliadis, whose firm also represents MGM Resorts. “But at the same time, young travelers are prone to do a short-term rental.  We’ve got to pay attention to emerging visitors as well as core visitors.” 

“Are the hotels being impacted here? I’ve got to believe some are,” says Vassiliadis, noting the difficulty in determining the prevalence of short-term rentals. “But room occupancy has been so strong.” 

Vassiliadis says his representation of both the LVCVA and Expedia has not been an issue to date. 

“It’s never come up as a point of contention.  We’ve had Expedia as a client for a long time — before they were doing short-term rentals,” Vassiliadis says, adding the LVCVA has long platformed with booking platforms to dispose of rooms. 

Commissioner Jim Gibson, whose district includes the City of Henderson, which allows short-term rentals, suggested the county reach out to its congressional delegation to explore options for seeking recourse against companies such as Expedia, Airbnb and VRBO, which collect fees for brokering vacation rentals.

Dana Gentry
Reporter | Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana is the mother of four adult children, three cats, three dogs and a cockatoo.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Shouldn’t be illegal in the first place! Government has no business in telling people what they can or cannot do with their homes. This has nothing to do with anything except the big hotels trying to monopolize business. It’s my house and I should be able to rent it to anyone I want unless there was an association agreement I agreed to when I bought it. This is a slippery hill I hope someone opposes. How these stupid unfair and crooked laws get past in the middle of the night I’m still trying to figure out. I’ve lived in Las Vegas since 1996 so I’ve seen the good and the bad in this city. These unfair and un American type laws are shameful.

  2. Clark county does whatever they casinos pay them to do.
    They follow no protocol, they do not care about our city or our people here. Kirkpatrick is a joke and has views that will hinder our city. I hope she loses her job ASAP. The county will approve your rehabilitation plan then turn around and fine you 1,000 a day even though they just approved you… This county is a joke and will remain a joke until these are out of their position.

  3. With Clark County now turning bluer than California, I don’t expect things to get any better. These bureaucrats who can not make it in the real world, they know what’s best for you. People should be able to enjoy the benefits of home ownership. It’s their Right. They should be able to do anything they want-provided it’s legal and respects the CC&Rs of the HOA. The problem with very short term rentals, say 2 or 3 days, is that on occasion, it’s rented to people with no respect or consideration for the surrounding neighbors. They’re only going to be there for a couple of days, so the community can ,”Go pound sand”. It’s a pity that a jerks can spoil a bargain everyone else.

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