City News

This summer, the city of Sedona made it clear that it was against Senate Bill 1350, which allows short-term vacation rentals throughout the state. And while the city may have a limited voice, it doesn’t mean it has to be completely silent.  

On May 12, Gov. Doug Ducey signed Senate Bill 1350 into law and it goes into effect Jan. 1. Because Sedona’s ban on short-term rentals is no longer valid, the city is developing policies around areas like licensing, registration of an emergency contact and collection of taxes on properties permitted to operate under the provisions of the law.

On Tuesday, Oct. 11, the Sedona City Council will see a proposed ordinance that better defines what the city is allowed to require of those seeking to rent their homes on a short-term basis.

“The biggest concern I have is, as we adapt to what the law now mandates, the community doesn’t understand it,” City Attorney Robert Pickels said. “They don’t have unfettered use of all properties as a result of what this law changes. We still have the authority to regulate activities within certain zoning districts. That hasn’t changed at all.

“There’s a misperception by a lot of people in the community that it’s a free-for-all and they can do whatever they want with their properties and the city can’t do anything to regulate it. That’s just false.”

The proposed ordinance includes detailed definitions of what a vacation rental or short-term rental means as well as transient lodging. It also addresses the city’s requirement to have contact information on file of those who choose to rent their homes.

“The city of Sedona is committed to maintaining its small-town character, scenic beauty and natural resources that are the foundation of its economic strength and quality of life,” a portion of the ordinance states. “The purpose of this chapter is to safeguard the public health and safety of the residents of Sedona and their visitors and guests while preserving the residential character of neighborhoods, minimizing nuisance and providing equity with other residential and commercial uses.”

The proposed ordinance also states that those renting their homes will be required to obtain a city business license and well as obtain a transaction privilege taxes license with the state. However, online companies like Airbnb handle the TPT as long as the customer continues working through them. If the owner decides to rent their home on their own, they must file TPT with the state.

“Airbnb works with jurisdictions to collect applicable taxes on behalf of hosts and guests who use Airbnb,” and Airbnb spokeswoman told the Sedona Red Rock News. “SB 1350 allows platforms like Airbnb to collect and remit these taxes to the Arizona Department of Revenue, who in turn will provide the taxes to the cities.”

The city of Sedona’s Community Development Department encourages those interested in renting their property as a short-term rental to contact them to discuss the state regulation and city policies the property owner will need to follow.

“We want to be proactive and make sure residents understand the ins and outs of how this law affects our community. We are developing policies around this law to ensure compatibility, safety of our residents and the collection of revenue,” Warren Campbell, assistant director of community development, said in a release.

Campbell said something that is important for residents to know is what constitutes as a short-term rental. It is defined as an individually or collectively owned single-family home or up-to-four unit home, a condominium or cooperative/timeshare.

Those who are considering renting their property within the city of Sedona as a short-term rental, or less than 30 days, are encouraged to contact the Community Development Department at 102 Roadrunner Drive or via telephone at (928) 282-1154 to discuss the state regulation and city policies by which the property will need to comply.


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