Mt. Pleasant looks to add short term rental rules

The town of Mount Pleasant is considering regulating short term rentals. Monday, town leaders held an open meeting on the possibility of adding more rules to the practice of people renting out their residences any time period less than 30 days.

The Mount Pleasant Visitor center under the Ravenel bridge the first location for the rental conversation. “People in neighborhoods don’t want a short term rental, they want to know their neighbors.” said Tommy Knisley, who has managed neighborhoods in Mount Pleasant for several decades. According to the popular rental site Airbnb, there are more than 800 locations in Mount Pleasant alone. “Hosting over 100 people, I’ve not had one single issue,” said one Airbnb renter.

A focus of the meeting was the notion of a 12.5% accommodations tax on short term renters – a tax that all hotel guests have to pay in Mount Pleasant. “Everybody that visits needs to be paying their share of taxes,” said Laurie Bixler, “Mount Pleasant is a tourist town.”

Just across the Cooper, the city of Charleston forbids short term rentals under 30 days. “This is not just a town of Mount Pleasant issue, this is an issue across other municipalities across the state and in other states,” said Councilman Mark Smith who organized the meeting. Town officials said it is too early to give a timeline when the regulations will be decided. “The world is changing and technology is changing us,” said Mayor Linda Page “and the town of Mount Pleasant embraces change.”

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