Vacation, sober living homes impacted
PRESCOTT — Along with the broad requirement for licenses for all businesses in the City of Prescott, two specific categories are facing another level of licensing and enforcement.
On Jan. 1, new rules also became effective for sober living homes, and vacation rentals.
On Dec. 29, 2016, the city mailed letters to owners of about 150 properties that are being advertised as short-term or vacation rentals.
“This notice is to inform you of the new license requirements and regulations, effective Jan. 1, 2017 for operating vacation rentals (rental for a period of 29 consecutive days or less) in the City of Prescott,” the letter stated.
The letter noted that if the owner does not occupy the rental while it is being rented out, and the facility is not a hotel, motel, or bed-and-breakfast, the owner is required to have a sales tax license (transaction privilege tax license) through the Arizona Department of revenue, as well as a vacation-rental registration through the city. The new registration fee of $100 is in addition to the $35 general business license with the city.
In addition, new operational requirements apply. (More information on the new rules is available on wwww.dcourier.com at http://www.dcourier.com/news/2016/nov/09/new-vacation-rental-rules-set-go-effect-jan-1/)
For those who occupy and reside at the residence when the property is rented, a sales tax license would be required, along with a business license through the city.
The letter advises owners that after they have a sales-tax license through the state, they should go to www.prescott-az.gov/business/license/ to begin the business-license application.
The letter adds that owners with questions also may call the city’s Tax & Licensing Division at 928-777-1268.
Prescott Budget and Tax Manager Lars Johnson reported Friday, Jan. 6, that he has received a number of questions from vacation-rental owners about the need for the special license.
So far, Johnson said, “We haven’t seen much activity (toward the required licensing of the vacation rentals).”
At the same time, Johnson noted that owners of sober living homes in Prescott are facing new application and licensing requirements.
Planning Manager George Worley says the city estimates the number of sober living homes in Prescott at about 100.
The new requirements were discussed throughout 2016 – first, as the Arizona State Legislature considered, and ultimately approved, new legislation that gave cities and towns greater authority to regulate the homes, and later, as the Prescott City Council put that authority into practice.
In October, the City Council approved a new group home ordinance, which imposed a number of new regulations, such as requiring that the homes have an awake house manager 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Other new requirements include: new standards for training, criminal background, and education of house managers; providing basic address, employee, and operational information about the home; and requiring discharge-planning strategy.
(More information on the new rules is available on www.dcourier.com, at: http://www.dcourier.com/news/2016/dec/16/prescott-city-council-oks-new-150-sober-living-hom/; http://www.dcourier.com/news/2016/oct/12/group-home-ordinance-gets-unanimous-ok-prescott-ci/; and http://www.dcourier.com/news/2016/jul/11/group-home-regulations-review-prescott-city-counci/).