Glass: Not seeking to eliminate rentals
August 3, 2018
As I speak to voters during my campaign for commissioner in Rehoboth, I hear some questions about whether I am seeking to eliminate vacation rentals. Far from it!
Like many homeowners, I rent my house for part of the summer and enjoy sharing our resort community with new and returning guests. I also love getting to know my neighbors and building our community, and I am trying to preserve that tradition in Rehoboth.
A homeowner who uses their second home during the year and rents in the summer is very different from an investor — usually an LLC — that rents by-the-night or for 3-day weekends throughout the year, like a hotel. This is a new trend of commercial rental properties, and we need to look at what other cities are doing for new ideas to tackle the problems this trend causes. But I do not want to eliminate summer vacation rentals from Rehoboth.
I have also heard the concern that, simply by talking about broadening Rehoboth's tax base in a fair manner, I am offending our small businesses. Again, my goal is completely the opposite. For too long, people have said Rehoboth needs to do something about the high rents and vacant commercial properties, and what have your elected representatives actually done?
From my training and experience in accounting and finance, I know we can bring our small businesses and the commercial landlords together around a plan to improve the downtown, and keep rents affordable and businesses vibrant. Such a plan requires capital investments and a system of incentives and credits that can be financed by sensible taxes and fees, such as a hotel room tax like those charged in Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island. Currently, Rehoboth collects no hotel room tax, resulting in most hotel guests contributing nothing for the city services they are using.
I am an independent thinker with no agenda other than to find real solutions to improve life in Rehoboth Beach. I ask for your vote on Aug. 11. For more information about my campaign, please visit glassforcommissioner.org.
Candidate, Rehoboth Beach commission