Last year, the Minnesota Department of Revenue directed county assessors to consider reclassifying short-term rental cabins and condos as commercial businesses. This could double or even triple property taxes for these owners.

We have owned a cabin on the North Shore for 20 years, and although the rental income we receive helps to offset some of the costs of owning our cabin, we do not make a profit from renting our cabin. That hardly looks like a “commercial” business. We cannot afford a doubling or tripling of our property taxes, and we may be forced to take our property off the rental market if this property-tax situation is not addressed.

During the summer tourist season, it’s hard to find a place to stay on the North Shore. If properties like ours are removed from the rental market, there will be fewer lodging choices for tourists, room prices will increase, and fewer tourists will visit the area. This would have a dramatic effect on the North Shore communities that rely on tourism for their livelihood.

We think it’s fair for us to pay a little more in property taxes but not at the same rate as a full-time commercial business. That’s why we hope the state Legislature can resolve this issue. Already, there’s legislation (House File 3826 and Senate File 3931) that would create a new tax classification for condos and cabins available for rental.

Please encourage your state lawmakers to vote for this important legislation in order to support the many vacation rental property owners along the North Shore — as well as the tourism industry which relies on these properties.

Rod Cameron and Nancy Radle

Stillwater, Minnesota