A bill that would tax short-term vacation rentals under Delaware’s 8% lodging tax is facing strong opposition from cape-region business owners who would be most affected, the Cape Gazette reported.

“It just can’t happen,” said Kenny Hopkins, Holly Lake Campground owner. “From Bethany to Rehoboth, it’s something that’s just going to hurt all of eastern Sussex.”

Hopkins said he learned about the bill April 24, when an email from a camping trade organization presented him with a legislative update. He said camping is an economical way for families to enjoy the beach, and adding an 8% tax would discourage those families from coming.

Hopkins said he’s spoken with his campground-owning brethren, and they’re all against the legislation. “My phone has been ringing off the hook,” he said.

Rep. Deborah Hudson, R-Fairthorne, and Sen. Gary Simpson, R-Milford, introduced legislation April 13 that would apply the tax to short-term vacation rental units, a rental term of 120 days or less. Campgrounds, bed-and-breakfast locations, and internet-based lodging options, such Airbnb and VRBO, would all fall under the definition.

The lodging tax, which dates to 2000, is already assessed on hotel and motel rental units in Delaware. A press release announcing HB130 said the Legislature’s Controller General’s Office estimates including short-term rentals under the tax would bring in $8 million to $11 million in annual revenue.

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