Portland's City Hall, headlights and a row of fanciful snowflakes shine in the city on Tuesday Dec. 7, 2021. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Nick Schroeder’s  recent article in the Bangor Daily News, “Portland hasn’t collected thousands in fines for short-term rental rule violations” inaccurately portrays our city as awash in unregulated short-term rentals (STRs), and comes off as a cheap shot against our hardworking city staff at a time when everyone feels the pinch of pandemic-induced shortages and delays.

Short-term rentals (fewer-than-30-day apartment stays often rented on platforms such as Airbnb) are in fact already heavily regulated in Portland, and STRs that do not serve as the owner’s primary residence are capped at 400 units citywide. Even this story admits that those who attempt to rent on a short-term basis without proper licenses are identified, shut down and fined if necessary. Some fines have yet to be collected this year due to the same staffing shortages and legal backlogs that have plagued many industries during the pandemic years — but there is absolutely no indication Portland will not follow through on its enforcement duties in this regard

Indeed, city staff have collected a   net $109,000 in short-term rental licensing fees (after administrative expenses) in 2021. Our civil servants should be congratulated for a job well done in these difficult times.

Paul Waring