In 1971, when the city of Portland amended its charter to establish a transient lodging tax, you could hardly blame our policymakers for not anticipating the internet.
Obviously, times have changed. As written, the tax applies to lodging in hotels and other short-term rentals, collected through the operators. But today, we can rent rooms and plot entire vacations around the world without contacting a destination or even dialing a number. But is a website owner that connects visitors with short-term rentals an “operator”?
Our charter was behind on the times.