If you own a vacation rental home in the City of Missoula, it looks like you could be forced into channeling some of your profits for higher fees to operate within the Garden City. 

The Missoula City Council is pressing ahead with plans to hold a public hearing on boosting the fees charged to property owners by hundreds of dollars every year. 

Last year, some city leaders were worried that potential homes that were needed for the tight rental market could be set vacant where owners were hoping to capture the more lucrative short-term stay business. But a subsequent survey showed less than 2% of those rentals were actually hosting visitors. However, the report did find a 25% increase in vacation rental listings since 2020, with the city saying some of the properties are making over $25,000 a year. 

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That report also found 112 homes were registered under the current program, but over 500  were not, as of November 1st. 

Still, staff say the city's expenses are rising and Missoula should be recovering some of it's costs. They told a City Council committee this week the fees would help pay for things like inspections for code compliance and managing the permit system. 

The prices aren't cheap

Under the proposed fee schedule, the cost of registering a "tourist home" the first time is recommended to increase by $450 a year to a total of $554. Renewing that registration would climb to $205 a year. 

The proposed changes will be considered during the regular council meeting on February 6th. 

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