Association’s Board approves efforts to battle unlawful business practices within the self-managed rental sector
Panama City Beach, Fla. (January 13, 2014) – In a major industry development the Onsite Property Management Association (OPMA), which represents over 32,000 professionally managed lodging properties, recently announced its full backing and support of industry initiatives to both highlight and address the unfair and often illegal business practices of those rental-by-owners who are not contributing their share of taxes to their state, county, and local communities. OPMA is the only national organization dedicated to the growing condo hotel sector. The association is committed to providing state attorney generals and taxation departments the support they require to increase staffing and resources in their efforts to collect untold millions of dollars for their budgets. The loss of significant revenue is not just restricted to major markets like New York City, which estimates that up to 72 percent of rental listings are illegal and these owners are not paying sales, occupancy, and other taxes. As an example: in Sonoma County, California, with a population of less than 500,000, estimates they are losing ” conservatively, $500,000 to $1.3M annually.
Paul Wohlford, President of OPMA and a senior executive for Resort Collection on Panama City Beach, Fla., reiterated the organization’s commitment to further maximize awareness around this critically important tax compliance debate.
“Our OPMA members strongly oppose the continued proliferation of these types of businesses and we urge local and state governments across the country to continue to enact and enforce legislation that creates a level playing field for all short term rental providers. We also urge our professional lodging partners in the hotel, timeshare, and vacation rental industries to also lend their voices and strong support for the elimination of these unprofessional and illegal activities within the hospitality industry,” Said Wohlford.
In an economic environment where every municipality is looking to maximize incremental revenue opportunities, OPMA sees a role in assisting state Attorney Generals as well as state and county tax commissioners in those efforts. Rick Fisher, Executive Director of OPMA, believes the benefits in addressing the tax compliance issue extends beyond the professional rental management community to include tax enforcement officials and representatives.
“It’s not surprising that a number of states, counties and cities are struggling with their budgets,” said Fisher “OPMA and its members are committed to not only contributing their fair share of taxes but to also continue the campaign to raise awareness of the need to support state government officials in their efforts to ensure tax enforcement compliance by all rental by owners. This initiative will help states, counties and cities around the country foster continued economic growth and reduce the overall tax burden of their constituents.”
Recently, OPMA also launched its national marketing campaign to help create greater consumer and media awareness of the rapidly growing hybrid condo hotel lodging sector — spacious condo accommodations and hotel amenities and services. During the campaign OPMA will continually reinforce the association’s support against the current practices of non-tax contributing rental by owners.