“Vacation rentals” in the City of East Tawakoni: May We Ask Your Opinion?

The July 26 edition of the Rains County Leader includes the full article regarding the East Tawakoni City Council meeting held on Tuesday, July 19, during which vacation rentals were discussed. Please pick up your copy of the paper, read the article for details and post your comments below!

Potentially, the decision made by the ET City Council could have an effect on subdivisions and other areas around Rains County, including Lake Fork.

The Rains County Leader wants to bring the issue straight to our readers and residents of East Tawakoni. What are your thoughts on vacation rentals? Should they be stopped? Should it be regulated by the city? What effects do they have on the city now? What will be the effects if they are disallowed? Everyone is welcome to comment, share their experiences and express their opinion but if you live within the East Tawakoni city limits, please state so in your comment.

Check out the July 26 edition to find out what ET councilmembers believe about vacation rentals, and what exactly happened at the chaotic meeting.

20 Comments on "“Vacation rentals” in the City of East Tawakoni: May We Ask Your Opinion?"

  1. Well first of all they should be allowed to rent there house out if they want.To ANYONE if it’s for a week or long term it is non of anyone’s busines how they rent there house out. I think it is a great idea bringing people to our area it opens more possibility up for growing. We can always use a little growing in our area.

  2. John E Davis | July 21, 2016 at 11:10 am | Reply

    I am opposed to the short term rentals in the city limits of E. Tawakoni and how it will affect the area where permanent homeowners reside year around. Short term rentals will not bring extra income to the city as they are not tourist but weekend partiers and the main thing they purchase that is taxed is liquor and beer. There are no decent restaurants close to the city or tourist attractions and most of the groceries they purchase is not taxable. Call the police departments in Gun Barrel City or Eustace to find out what the drug users and weekend party renters have done to a lot of the residential areas on the North side of Cedar Creek lake. They are run down homes and trailers for rent. A town cannot make it on a BEDROOM Tax Base, they need worthwhile business to support the cost of police and firefighter services and city maintenance. The city of Emory and even the Lake Fork marina is a fine example of how to have a striving town and a profitable tax base.
    As for our elected officials (be they males or females) they have an obligation to the citizens of the town to set up rules or laws that protect as well as not infringe on the rights and freedoms of ALL residence.

  3. Has the nanny state made it way out here to Rains? People should be able to do any lawful thing they wish with their own property.

  4. Johnnie LaPrade | July 23, 2016 at 12:24 pm | Reply

    The majority of the City of East Tawakoni is zoned single dwelling for residence. This zoning has been enforced for many years. We value our citizens and homeowners. There is a legal procedure that has to be taken into consideration. There has to be hearings called to change the zoning in any city. The City Council is reviewing this matter. All citizens please bear with your city leaders as the legal aspect is being reviewed. And if you DO NOT live in the city limits please do not comment. Thank you.

  5. Lauren Withrow | July 24, 2016 at 11:14 am | Reply

    * From the Rains County Leader staff*

    One of the reasons FollowTheLeader.Today was created was to give the people of Rains County and those interested in the county the opportunity to voice their opinions. We at the Leader know that what affects one city could easily affect the other cities and areas in the county, so we welcome all comments from everyone on every post. FollowTheLeader.Today allows all to be involved in the opinions, ideas, problems and solutions that affect Rains county. Thank you for continuing to read and comment!

  6. I am a citizen of East Tawakoni. We most certainly do get hotel motel tax for any bed rentals. As far as the mayor’s comment, I would like to know if she is aware of the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights?

  7. Banning short-term vacation rentals is just another sad example of too much government. These vacation rental owners usually put a LOT more care into their properties than their full-time neighbors do. They depend on Internet reviews, so make every effort to keep their places looking great. They regularly buy furniture, household items, and hire local people to make constant improvements, which stimulates the economy and increases EVERYONE’S property value. This, of course, generates more revenue for the Town of East Tawakoni. Additionally, short-term renters are at the properties a lot less than long-term renters. (The “transient” argument is baseless). They’re out most of the time sightseeing and spending money (usually substantially more than motel guests) on activities, events, shopping, dining, etc. It’s the younger, irresponsible LONG-TERM and seasonal renters that throw loud parties after inviting their friends over, while creating parking nightmares. Our elected officials need to amend antiquated and inconsistent laws (i.e., selective enforcement where some communities are zoned to rent short-term and others are unfairly not – lawyers???) and educate themselves, instead of blindly voting against this because it’s “politically correct”. If they were economically astute, they’d do what states such as Montana does that actually promotes short-term rentals in their resort towns. Instead of doing business “in the shadows”, everyone happily gets licensed/regulated and PAYS TAXES (which they easily collect from their guests who expect it) because, as a result, they get free advertising on the state’s on-line vacation directory. This results in more business for the vacation rental owners, that they put right back into the local economy, plus more TAX REVENUE for the state (6%) and East Tawakoni (7%). Creating a “lack of employee housing” is another poor argument and shouldn’t be the homeowner’s problem. This is a TOURISM-BASED town. Therefore, we should cater to what a huge number of tourists want so they continue to come here with their families – vacation rentals. Besides, capitalism is what made this country exceptional. It should be encouraged, not outlawed, particularly in the great State of Texas. And for example if we have 10 Vacation homes in East Tawakoni then that should bring about $7000 to $10000 a quarter into our city not including Sales tax. Just make sure we as home owners insure that no one under 25 years of age rents and no noise requirements. Also if the city leaders don’t wake up the only thing that’s going to happen is all your taxes will go up. See Rains County Leader Vol.130 Issue 5 page 1 where East Tawakoni tax base is down 46.90% compared to 2015.

  8. John E Davis You have offended everyone. We do have great restaurants and we are a travel destination. And not everyone drinks alcohol. Why would one bad apple effect all residents. Look at some of the perminate citizens places that are falling down and never cleaned up as well as the cars sitting in there yard not running or registered. And when a Convicted felon wants to move in next door to you there are laws that says they can. You can’t discriminate against them. But you can write rules for your vacation rental and choose who stays in them. Please wake up and let this city grow and collect the Hotel Motel Taxes of 7%. With Regulations of course.Thanks

  9. The property owners are paying taxes to the city and county each year regulary and I imagine that they incur some damages that cost money that is spent in the county. when they visit either as a guest or as a weekend adventure.

  10. A vacation rental always has better upkeep, provides more cash flow to the city it’s in and is a huge bonus for any community. Managed properly they typically cause less issues than a standard yearly rented property.

  11. I have a friend who rents a home through VRBO and she pays taxes to the city once per quarter. I can only see this as a win-win for the city of East Tawakoni – increased tax revenue, both on the rental and the goods/services the tourists purchase when in the area. And, as has already been mentioned, homeowners are pressed to make sure that their property is well-kept, as their rental income depends on it.

  12. Carlene Altom | July 28, 2016 at 9:45 am | Reply

    I’ve applied as a volunteer with the Rains County Chamber to help make businesses and communities in our county grow! If you want your city to grow, you need to have tourist. The potential growth tourism can bring a city is endless. The council should be focused on ways to attract more, not deter!

  13. I don’t live in East Tawakoni, but rules changed there may affect all Rains County residents some day. I for one selected my home based on the regulations, one of which is single family dwelling. To change that after the fact would be ludicrous. I do not want my next door neighbor to start renting weekly for the simple reason I want to know my neighbors. As a neighborhood, we depend on each other to help police the area out here where police don’t patrol. We count on each other. Weekly renters we would know nothing about. I would say no.

  14. Loved how the headline story was presented. Now, who’s gonna push for the resignation of the other two involved in the violation of the open meetings act, the criminal act of official oppression, and conspiracy charges against ALL 5 of the people involved in the meeting that led to the letters being sent? It’s high time elected officials and department heads be held to the standards expected of their positions

  15. Ms. Bowden, I’m so glad you have good neighbors. But please remember there is two things you cant pick one is family and the other is neighbors. So when your good neighbor decides to sell then you are on your own and bad neighbors wont be leaving on Monday. Vacation renters come in spend a few days and most likely you will never see them again. And I do know people who rent these vacation homes need a reference. It is important to require rules up front and you will not be surprised with party goers.

  16. Penny Allgood | July 28, 2016 at 9:36 pm | Reply

    I do not live in East Tawakoni how ever I do frequent the restaurants there the lake there & I have both friends & family that live there which I visit & we shop & eat there. I have recently witnessed a buisness there on the Lake going & then pull out due to the lack buisness to be able to cover the rent & taxes in a matter of weeks. By bringing in new people (i.e. tourists or renters) businesses should be able to flourish & these businesses pay taxes. As mentioned already, the rentals are going to keep the properties better maintained than the local long termers to draw more buisnes/tourists.
    I am from a small town where the council does not want it to grow & it is stagnant & no one wants to visit due to still being in the stone age which is what will happen in East Tawakoni if you choose not to welcome “NEW” opportunity/buisness.

  17. Bully for you if you own a second or third vacation home and want to stimulate some cash for yourselves. Partisanship rears its head when local governing authorities suggest that they will now handpick those who will then rent out their properties. No doubt they feel the political pressure and are busy fielding complaint calls from these property owners.

    Who pays? The single-family residence dwellers. Families with children. No one performs a criminal check on those who rent these single-family residences for short-term stays. Letters of reference? Give us a break. Stop insulting our intelligence and stop ignoring the fact that people who live in East Tawakoni haven’t already been forced to deal with the noise, the inherent danger of drunk strangers wandering the neighborhood at night, the trash thrown on the roadways, and the loss of a sense of safety that comes with knowing your neighbors.

    Stop insulting people who may be poor and not able to repair their property. Who cares if a rental in this community is nice, when it may house a child molester or a murderer for the weekend? People work and want to come home to their homes to enjoy peace, quiet, and safety.

    If you don’t enjoy your investment property as your primary dwelling, then sell it. Don’t expect the residents of East Tawakoni to bear the burden of your need to make a buck. Don’t expect us to police the strangers that you are foisting upon us. To insinuate that your renters “would never” be a threat or commit a crime while on vacation is simply naive and isn’t a risk we should have to take to live in our single-family communities.

    In case you haven’t noticed, the economy is in a downturn. Don’t make changes to existing ordinances that will lead East Tawakoni and its citizens into a legal trap. Allow those who have existing contracts for weekends to honor them.

    I listen to the “boom-boom” of loud music every weekend as it is with this situation and I’d like a resolution. Remember, single-family residents have access to the courts as well.

    This isn’t a money-making tourist town. It’s a community of families. With children.

    For those who want to enjoy this area on the weekends, let them purchase a home in the area like everyone else.


  18. Never Before has The Decision of a Few Effected So Many

    When you have a municipality and hundreds of citizens your decisions effect all as an elected official. East Tawakoni tax base is falling to over 50% compared to last year. And I’m sure you are thinking “What is going on “. Well no tax revenue means less business less business means fewer dollars making it to the city. So how do we change this falling spiral? Be creative and realize you live on a Lake. Tourist need to visit and bring their money here. Everyone sees a two mile bridge being built and it is twice the size as the old one. Someone somewhere understands that more people are moving this way but not stopping in East Tawakoni. All the talk in town is about Vacation rentals and all the bad things that could happen. Citizens saying they don’t want someone next door they don’t know. Believe me you really don’t know your neighbors as good as you think you do. The old saying “You can’t pick your family or your neighbors “. I have seen people come and go in this town in the last 16 years and some of my neighbors have been drug dealers, Renters who don’t care about the way their house looks or just leave and never come back so their houses just attract varmints and the city has to pay to get it mowed. So weekend visitors will come in and leave in a couple of days. Good or bad they are gone in a couple of days. So I propose we regulate these Vacation homes and enjoy the revenue that comes with them. Because East Tawakoni needs the tax money. Believe me they are going to get the money somewhere and the only place I can see the money coming from is the home owner’s taxes going up.

    Just think about why our revenue is going down and every other city around us is going up. Just drive to Emory or Point and see how beautiful these towns have become. As you read our East Tawakoni web site it invites you to visit our great town. But you can’t stay here! So come fish and get out!! People we have no place for people to visit there friends, Go to a local football game, Go to a local wedding, Take a trip over to Canton for trades day, Companies needed lodging for their employees who work in the area ( The Bridge ). Wake up we need to grow not close the door. Soon the town will go broke and we will live in West Emory.

  19. “Who cares if a rental in this community is nice, when it may house a child molester or a murderer for the weekend? ”

    What an utterly foolish comment… Your *permanent* next door neighbor could be a child molester or a murderer. Do YOU run a background check on all your neighbors? If you discovered that your neighbor had a criminal record, could you even do anything about it? No, you couldn’t. Life involves risks. And if you don’t own the property next door, how in the world do you believe you have a right to dictate to other homeowners how they conduct their personal affairs?

    If you want to live in complete solitude and perceived “safety”, you should by 150 acres and build a house in the middle of it. Until you do that, you ought to recognize that you don’t have the right to control your neighbors’ lives. Find a hobby or something.

  20. I own short term rentals on the coast – I do not rent to the party crowd. I pay 6% to the state and 9% to the city of Galveston monthly.
    Short term rentals should be allowed t- think about what you could do with that 9% hotel tax every month.

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