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Advocacy

The Pennsylvania Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns (PABBI) is a non-profit 501 c 6 membership based trade association governed by a Board of Directors. A key part of our mission statement is ...building strong relationships with key industry leaders; and lobbying for state laws and codes that fairly deal with the needs of innkeepers and guests. 

ADVOCACY EFFORTS

Innkeepers wear many hats and are faced with a changing landscape such as ADA compliance, Online Travel Agent (OTA) platforms, and most importantly the increase in short-term rentals. 

Short-Term Rentals

PABBI and the PA Restaurant and Lodging Association (PRLA), whose members include hoteliers and Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) also known as Convention & Visitors Bureaus (CVBs), have been working together to level the playing field with short-term rentals in terms of providing safe and comfortable lodging and fair business operating requirements (licensing, insurance, occupancy limits, etc.). Read the joint Short-Term Rental Position Policy.

Short-term rentals, home sharing, vacation rentals, Airbnb: regardless of what you call the concept, it is clear that the sharing economy has worked its way into virtually every residential area in the country. Short-term rentals are defined as the rental of all or part of a residential dwelling unit for a duration of occupancy of less than 30 days. 

PABBI is requesting Townships/Boroughs/Cities to develop and implement a short-term rental ordinance that provides protection to neighborhoods and residents as well as levels the playing field with bed and breakfasts and hotels/motels/inns. PABBI has developed a position paper entitled "Requirements for Short-Term Rental Ordinances."

PABBI is asking all PA Bed & Breakfasts to find out if their Township/Borough/City has a short-term rental ordinance. It is imperative that communities take a pro-active approach in regulating short-term rentals to prevent unintended outcomes like what recently occurred in Pittsburgh putting the lives of short-term rentals and neighbors in jeopardy. Both PABBI and PRLA have sent letters to Pittsburgh City Council respectivefully offering suggestions on how to improve the pending short-term rental ordinance. Copies of the letters are included as part of PABBI's Short-Term Rental Toolkit designed to help PA innkeepers contact their local officials regarding a short-term rental ordinance in their community.

PABBI has also been working on your behalf to pass legislation (HB 976) that regulates short-term rentals. House Bill 976 will aid in the collection of County Hotel taxes and assist in promoting local and regional tourism assets. It will also provide information to the local municipal authorities to ensure compliance with local zoning ordinances. Click here to view the bill. The Bill was referred to the House Tourism and Recreational Committee on March 19, 2021. The prime sponsor is Representative Heffley. The Bill is currently in the House Tourism and Recreational Committee.

American with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Legislation is needed to restore the integrity of the ADA law by addressing the unseemly practice of “drive-by” and “surf-by” lawsuits. The bill needs to reform Title III of the ADA, which covers private businesses open to the public, by specifying clear, unambiguous rules for identifying and correcting ADA access violations before allowing litigation or a drawn-out settlement process. If a business fails to correct an identified violation following a notice and a defined period of time, then the right for seeking legal recourse still applies under the ADA.

PABBI has sent a letter to each of Pennsylvania's two U.S. Senators and 18 U.S. Representatives along with supporting documentation that this is a critical issue that needs to be addressed. Below is the letter that PABBI sent along with a sample letter for you to use. 

Sample Letter to Your U.S. Senator and Representative

Letter Sent by PABBI

 

PASSED LEGISLATION

Act 109

In 2018, the legislature overwhelmingly passed Act 109, previously known as HB 1511. This monumental legislation closed the online travel company loophole to ensure that online travel agents are remitting tax on the correct, retail rate of the room. The revenue from closing that loophole is to be deposited in a restricted account that is to be used to promote statewide tourism in Pennsylvania. 

Alcohol Reform

Act 39, alcohol reform, took effect on Monday, August 8, 2016. The law states Bed & Breakfasts may provide one bottle of wine to its paying guests at check-in while in an overnight status so long as that wine is produced by a licensed limited winery. A Limited Winery is defined as a winery that produces up to 200,000 gallons of alcoholic ciders, wines and wine coolers per year. 

This is something the B&B industry had been working on for about 10 years. Due to the tenacity of the PABBI Board of Directors working with the PA Restaurant & Lodging Association (PRLA), this was a huge win for PABBI.

Airbnb Agreement with the PA Department of Revenue

An agreement between the PA Department of Revenue and Airbnb, authorized Airbnb to collect and remit the PA state 6% occupancy tax for any bookings made through their site effective July 1, 2016. Therefore, do not charge the guest for the 6% state tax on any reservations received from Airbnb. That step will be taken care of by Airbnb. You still need to report the income to the state each month or quarter which ever applies to your business. Airbnb is remitting only the state tax, they are NOT remitting the local hotel occupancy tax.