By BRIAN BULLOCK

The Brookings City Council Monday night voted to adopt its 2002-2003 budget and took steps to straighten up its bed tax policies.

By a unanimous vote, the council adopted the $15,129,350 budget for the next fiscal year. It also resolved that the city impose a tax rate of $3.76 per $1,000 of assessed value property tax.

The council also voted to alter city ordinance No. 80-0-342, which defines the city's Transient Occupancy Tax.

The steps were taken to get the TOT (bed tax) to comply with provisions of the short-term rental ordinance passed late last year.

In trying to facilitate the vacation home rental market, the city passed a short-term rental ordinance in December. That ordinance conflicted with a section of the bed tax ordinance, City Manager Leroy Blodgett told the council.

Subsection C of Section 5 of the transient room tax ordinance waives the bed tax for andquot;a private home, vacation cabin or like facility from any owner who rents such facilities incidental to his own use thereof.andquot;

andquot;This is exactly the situation the short-term rental ordinance covers and imposes the tax,andquot; Blodgett read from the staff report.

Instead of waiving the bed tax for vacation rentals, the amendment will read: andquot;Any occupant whose rent is paid by a local agency, either directly or through a voucher, in response to a local disaster or declared emergency.andquot;

So instead of waiving bed tax for vacation rentals, it will include short-term home rentals on the tax rolls. The amendment also brings both ordinances into alignment, Blodgett said.

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