Weekly Update: State Department of Health considers 29.3 percent increase to lodging license fees

Weekly Update: State Department of Health considers 29.3 percent increase to lodging license fees

The Washington State Department of Health is currently considering a rule change resulting in a 29.3 percent increase in the transient accommodation licensing fees. Lodging facilities offering three or more units to guests for periods of less than 30 days are required by law to have a lodging facility license. Short-term rentals available on online platforms are not subject to the transient accommodation licensing fee imposed by the state, however, some cities require these rentals to comply with a fee schedule. The Washington Hospitality Association testified at a recent hearing of the proposed rule change and recommended a reduction to the proposed fee and the exploration of new revenue options from short-term rentals. The association also advocated for a delay in implementation until at least March 2018 or adoption of a phased-in approach. The increased transient accommodation licensing fee proposed to take effect on Jan. 1 would cause additional regulatory burdens on our members and would leave them without any time to prepare for these changes.

The public comment period for the proposed rule change and subsequent fee increase is open until Dec. 8. To leave a comment about the proposed fee increase click here, or contact Peter Beaton at (360) 236-4031 or via email at peter.beaton@doh.wa.gov. Your input is a critical part of the process.

Kirkland City Council passes short-term rental regulations

The Kirkland City Council voted to implement an ordinance regarding short-term rentals that includes regulations and makes short-term rental properties subject to lodging taxes.

The ordinance requires owners to either occupy the residence at least 245 days per year or have a property manager living within 15 miles of the rental. Additionally, short-term rental property owners are required to submit a business license and pay licensing fees.

The regulation was implemented after numerous complaints were submitted to the city regarding excessive noise, trespassing and litter around short-term rental units. Click here for more detailed information about short-term rental regulation in Kirkland.

Annual Government Affairs Committee Meeting, Nov. 28

Join your government affairs team from 1:30–4 p.m., on Tuesday, Nov. 28, in Seattle, to review and provide feedback on our 2018 legislative priorities. At this meeting, you will have the opportunity to walk through the issues matrix step-by-step with the government affairs team. We are seeking your input on our goals and our issue priorities, ranging from tourism to taxes. RSVP here!

One Open Comment Session Remains for Tacoma’s Paid Sick and Safe Leave Policy, Nov. 30

The Tacoma City Council voted to amend the city’s paid sick and safe leave policy, creating a duplicate policy for businesses. The initiative will be implemented in Jan. 2018. The city council’s amendment will tighten restrictions as necessary to match the state policy while leaving city policy items in place that are stricter than the state policy. The Tacoma City Council is now working on rulemaking. Click here to view the draft rules. There is one remaining session for open comment on the draft rules: 10-11:30 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 30, Tacoma Public Library Main Branch. The council plans to finalize rules in the first half of December. Click here to view a comparison table of Tacoma’s new paid leave law and the state paid leave law. If you have any questions, please contact Joe Bushnell, our Tacoma local government affairs manager.

Restaurant Neighbor and Faces of Diversity Awards, Deadline Extended to Dec. 1

It’s that time of the year again, and we are looking for nominees for the National Restaurant Association’s awards. These awards are:

  • Restaurant Neighbor Award – The Restaurant Neighbor Award recognizes restaurants for outstanding community service and philanthropy. National winners are chosen from a pool of state winners to win $10,000 to support their favorite charity or non-profit.
  • Face of Diversity American Dream Award —The American Dream Award honors individuals from a diverse background who, through hard work and determination, have realized their American dream. Three winners are honored each year with this award and three $2,500 scholarships are awarded to ProStart students in the names of the winners.

There are many great restaurants and individuals out there who are worthy of these honors, so please click here and nominate deserving recipients for these awards.

Washington Hospitality Wishes You a Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to our members! And remember that the Washington Hospitality Association’s Olympia office will be closed on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 23) and on Friday, Nov. 24. Have a great holiday!


Video: What You Need to Know About Immigration Law Enforcement

Catharine Morisset and Davis Bae, from Fisher Phillips, give you a thorough run down on what you need to have in place when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrive at your workplace in this informative video.

Mckenzie Chase Management and Thanksgiving on This Week’s DineNW Radio Show – Listen Online!

Don’t miss this week’s DineNW radio show, now online. Morgan Huether and Paul Schlienz kick off the show with an interview with Mike Lancey, of Mckenzie Chase Management, who discusses the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. Morgan and Paul then join with Ross Boylan, Andy Cook, Katie Doyle and Nicole Vukonich for a special discussion of all things Thanksgiving.