Raleigh City Council still mulling Airbnb issue

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The Raleigh City Council is not ready to put the debate over Airbnbs to rest.

The Raleigh City Council is not ready to put the debate over Airbnbs to rest. The council decided to punt on the issue Tuesday, sending the heated dispute over the new school approach to bed and breakfasts back to a committee.

The wait is leaving some people in fear about future of their small business.

"We won't be able to survive and [I worry] that we will have to close," said Oakwood Inn owner Doris Jurkiewicz.

Jurkiewicz says her Downtown Raleigh bed-and-breakfast is on the brink of closing thanks in part to the app.

"I love doing what I do but, we can't keep affording to put money into a sinking ship," said Jurkiewicz.

Airbnb is a home sharing option. You can rent a bed, room, or house from locals. Right now, it's illegal to offer up your place in that manner, but plenty of people are still posting their properties.

Jurkiewicz says she cannot compete anymore and is petitioning the city council to create an even playing field.

"They're not paying the taxes. They're not paying the sales tax. They're not paying the occupancy tax," said Jurkiewicz. "They're not having to have inspections or paying for them."

The council is trying to figure out what to do about the app. Advocates say it offers hefty savings. The rentals are cheaper than a hotel or B&B.

"We can't afford when rooms get up to $300-400," said Raleigh resident Manish Lamba.

Lamba say it also helps tourists when major events are held in the Capital City, like the Rock-and-Roll Marathon or festivals.

"We just don't have the capacity to handle when these huge influxes happen," said Lamba.

For Jurkiewicz, who bought the inn 14 years ago, she hopes she can hold onto property long enough to see another one of those big gatherings

"It's been a rough ride. It's been up and down," said Jurkiewicz. "I'm hoping that the council will understand and help the small business in the city because I think that's what's wonderful about Raleigh is that there are so many small businesses and people who take pride in this community."

There's no timetable when the council will continue discussions on the app. A report has been sent to committee for review.

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