SANTA FE — Santa Fe city government is considering setting limits on the number of short-term rentals one owner can operate and making it easier to go after hosts who aren’t paying gross receipts and lodgers taxes by framing the violations as civil matters rather than criminal, Mayor Alan Webber said Wednesday.
Webber said the city views short-term rentals as a way for owners of homes and casitas to make money from vacant space.
“It’s not supposed to be an industry,” with ownership concentrated in just a few hands, Webber said.
A study for the city funded by the Thornburg Foundation earlier this year said that just 15 hosts account for 381 short-term rental units in Santa Fe.
The mayor made his comments during a panel discussion on the Northern New Mexico housing outlook at a Regional Economic Development Initiative Summit held at the Hilton Buffalo Thunder.
The city’s short-term rental regulations allow up to 1,000 permits to be issued in residential districts. However, according to IPX1031, a national company that assists with the financing, sale and purchase of second homes through tax-deferred property exchanges, Santa Fe now has 1,627 active Airbnb listings, up from 1,444 calculated in the Thornburg study.