Monday, July 22, 2024

Southport refunding short-term rental registration fees

SOUTHPORT — The City of Southport is returning monies it collected for short-term rental registrations now through the end of March. (PCD/file).

SOUTHPORT — The City of Southport is returning monies it collected for short-term rental registrations after a 2022 court ruling.

After the City of Wilmington issued an ordinance regulating short-term rentals in 2019, the national law firm Institute for Justice successfully challenged the requirements to register short-term rentals. The North Carolina Court of Appeals upheld the district court’s strike down in Schroeder v. City of Wilmington in April 2022.

The city reimbursed over $500,000 in registration fees; now, it’s Southport’s turn.

In July 2021, the City of Southport adopted an amendment to its Unified Development Ordinances that set supplemental standards for short-term vacation rentals and homestays. Part of the ordinance requirement was participating in a registration program — now illegal — to ensure compliance with all the standards and the occupancy tax requirements.

Southport is now in the process of issuing refunds; it anticipates all refunds will be processed by the end of March.

For those who paid with a debit or credit card, Southport is asking to verify that the card is still active so the payment can be reversed. If the card is no longer in use, please notify Tori Deviney in permitting, as soon as possible. She can be reached at 910-457-7925.


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