To the Editor:
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Airbnb does not care about you. VRBO does not care about you. They do not care at all about our community, our schools, our neighborhoods – they only care about their profits. This is an unmistakable truth. But across the globe, these enormous corporations are encountering more and more communities like ours that are not willing to just roll over and die.
Warrant Article 4 gives us the tools to slow down the madness of letting every house in the neighborhood become an unregulated hotel that’s empty in the off-season. Please vote Yes on 4 to begin what should have started years ago: common-sense regulations that let residents rent their homes for much-needed income, while making investors and speculators take a number and get in line. These regulations will help ensure that teachers, firefighters, landscapers and Lab families alike can find a place to live year-round.
Airbnb doesn’t care about you, but I do. I care about your kids, your parents, your future. I want everyone in town to be able to stay here, make a decent living and be secure as they age. I want folks to be able to pass their property on to their kids and help make sure that their kids’ lives will be easier and more secure than ours have been. I want new Mainers to be able to move here and set down roots.
Rental owners have had some great years. But it’s not the job of the town government to guarantee the investments of citizens. Nobody is “clawing back” anything from anyone. We’ve developed a problem, and it’s time to fix it. If you live here and rent your home as a vacation rental, you can continue to do that and so can your kids. Anyone who buys the property can then rent it year-round or as a vacation rental if it’s their primary residence – it’s that simple. Money will still be made, and property taxes will stop skyrocketing. Our kids and our elders will still have a community to create together and neighbors to work with. And Airbnb and VRBO will learn that not every small town is willing to give up its future to feed them.