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Advocacy

PABBI is a non-profit 501 c 6 independent 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. 

Visit with your State Senator this summer to pass HB 1810 in the Fall

HB 1810 will be addressed by the Senate when they return in September. Because it is an election year, it will be a very short session in the Fall. It is imperative that the Bill is voted on prior to the November elections in this Legislative session. If not, the entire process starts over again in January with newly elected Legislators and a new Legislative session and possibly a new Governor.

Let’s take advantage of the huge opportunity we have this year – it is an election year!!!

YOU are their CONSTITUENT and you are the VOTER. The naysayer to this Bill is Expedia and the online home sharing sites; however, they don’t have a vote to re-elect our Senators. We are anticipating a fight in the Senate. Those opposed will be doing whatever they can to hold up the Bill.

Please take time out of your busy summer season and make an appointment to visit your state Senator in his or her district office. With everyone’s support, our goal is to have every Senator visited by at least one innkeeper during July and August to discuss the importance of leveling the playing field between online home sharing hosts and professional innkeepers. An even better approach is for several innkeepers from the same senatorial district to go together. Let us know when you have your meeting scheduled by emailing [email protected].

To assist with your visit, talking points are available. If you just can’t get away from your Bed & Breakfast, please call and schedule a time to talk with your Senator or their Chief of Staff. An in-person visit is the most effective for achieving results followed by a personal call. If you can’t do either, then please send a letter (using the sample below) via email or US mail.

Talking Points

Sample Letter

Pending Legislation

PABBI is tracking the following legislative bills that impact the Bed & Breakfast Industry.

HB 1810

PABBI supports the passage of this Bill that would ensure a level playing field between short-term rental hosts and professional bed and breakfast owners. This Bill 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.

Status:

After the public hearing on April 9, the Bill went back to the House Tourism & Recreational Committee for revisions. PABBI sent a letter of support on May 18, 2018. Click here to view the letter.  The Bill was voted out of the House Tourism Committee and goes to the House of Representatives for a full vote on June 12It is critical that you send your letter asking for HB 1810 to be passed. Use the Sample Letter. Click here to read the Bill. The bill was passed by the House on June 13 by a vote of 177-14 and is currently in the Senate Community, Economic & Recreational Development Committee.

HB 1511

PABBI supports the passage of this Bill that would close the current loophole that permits online travel companies, such as Expedia, Orbitz and Priceline, to remit less tax than in-state lodging establishments on rooms sold through their sites. The additional revenue from closing this loophole would be dedicated to the state tourism office for tourism promotion.

Status:

The House Finance Committee held a public hearing on May 1, 2018. PRLA Chairman Matt English testified. HB 1511 was passed unanimously by the House Finance Committee on June 22 and will be considered by the full House in the fall.

For a complete summary of the issue and talking points for the above Bills and others, please click here.

Short-Term Rental Toolkit

One major recent change in our industry is the growth of short-term rental websites, most notably Airbnb, HomeAway and others. In just a few short years these sites have emerged as an influential and ingrained part of the short-term lodging industry.  PABBI believes there are some business aspects to these short-term rental websites that present a concern and require ongoing advocacy.

Short-term rental websites like Airbnb are billion dollar companies. We need everyone’s help to support our efforts in order to be successful in leveling the playing field.

Please take action today! PABBI has prepared a Short-Term Rental Toolkit for your use that includes talking points, sample letters and articles and links to research studies. Please click here.

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.