Neil Bradshaw on Short-term Rentals

On October 15, I reached out to the current Mayor Neil Bradshaw to get some answers on what the City of Ketchum is doing about the short-term rental problem.

Here are the questions and answers I took away from our conversation.

See the entire email chain here

What does mayor Neil Bradshaw say?

Do you agree that short-term rentals are the root cause of our housing crisis?

"I would love to restrict short term rentals in the residential areas (GR-L) but still permit it in the Tourist (T) zone. However this would be illegal currently."

-Neil Bradshaw, Mayor of Ketchum-

Sandpoint Idaho has managed to institute limits on non-owner occupied units. Why isn't Ketchum doing the same?

(no answer)

-NB, Mayor of Ketchum-

Short-term rentals are taking up housing stock and raise housing prices. Why hasn't anything been done about it?

"We have tried to implement certain regulations but these have been challenged."

-NB, Mayor of Ketchum-

What have you tried (and when) to address this?

Who challenged it, when and on what basis?

"There was some concern that the likely legal challenge would be successful."

-NB, Mayor of Ketchum-

The City collects 4% tax on short-term rentals (8% goes to the State), Sandpoint collects 7%. Why hasn't this been raised, with funds going to support affordable housing?

"Raising the tax on short term rentals will require a vote of the electorate and would also require a rewording of the LOT permissions. This, again, has been reviewed by the council and the plan is to come to the voters in May 2022 with this idea (subject to council approval)"

-NB, Mayor of Ketchum-


"To date, there are many in realtor community that have not supported any action that restricts or regulates short term rentals."

-NB, Mayor of Ketchum-


"There is some debate as to whether the cost of enforcement would be more than the revenue received. (Not that this should be the only determining factor)"

-NB, Mayor of Ketchum-


"Just note that different lawyers seem to have different legal opinions on this…ugh!"

-NB, Mayor of Ketchum-

Our Take:

  • Why hasn't the LOT tax been raised earlier? The Ketchum study on STRs already pointed to this problem in 2016.

  • Cost of enforcement: AirDNA says $3500 median monthly return from STRs.

    • That’s $42k per year in revenue, and $1,260 in tax revenue for just one unit

    • More compliance with permits is needed to fully understand scope of the problem (number of units, how many are owner occupied, etc.)

  • Who cares what realtors think? Realtors!

  • Niel never addressed Sandpoint's law, which remains unchallenged. If Ketchum were serious about the issue, it would copy Sandpoint in limiting short-term rentals.

    • Idaho law states: A county or city may implement such reasonable regulations as it deems necessary to safeguard the public health, safety and general welfare in order to protect the integrity of residential neighborhoods in which short-term rentals or vacation rentals operate.