Orlando E. Delogu’s column about the ills of short-term rentals (Maine Voices, Aug. 27) got some facts wrong.

As an owner of two rental units, one short-term and one long-term, I can attest that both units are fully regulated by the city and that we pay all required fees and taxes: to the city in increased property taxes; to the state in lodging taxes; and to the state and federal government in the form of increased income taxes.

We are average working people. We work hard to be good neighbors and citizens. We contracted with local craftspeople for the renovations. We purchase local baked goods and beer for our guests. Art by local artists is on the walls, and we recommend local restaurants, museums, breweries and other nearby businesses. Our short-term guests are quiet and respectful. They bring new money into the city’s economy.

By renovating and renting the second unit, we are able to keep the rent on our original apartment affordable – and continue to live here ourselves. We have not raised the rent in four years, despite increases in property taxes, fees for water and sewer and higher utility costs.

I would argue that there are other factors making this a challenging housing market. Many new residential units are being built, but those are often for a higher-end market; and Maine wages continue to be lower for most who are in the market for rental apartments.

It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out. I would hope that we don’t vilify our neighbors and accuse them of not paying their share. We all have work to do to make sure Portland – and Maine – remain great places to live.


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