Bronson vetoes new rules for Anchorage Airbnbs

Anchorage City Hall
Anchorage City Hall in April 2023. (Jeremy Hsieh/Alaska Public Media)

Update, 2:45 p.m. Wednesday: 

Mayor Dave Bronson has vetoed an ordinance that would’ve required owners of short-term rentals, including Airbnbs, to locally license their operations. Bronson announced his veto in a statement Wednesday, less than 24 hours after the Assembly approved the rules.

Bronson said the Assembly was “meddling” with property owners and their ability to make a living. 

“Regulating, licensing, notification requirements, taxation and fining of private property owners will further minimize options in the Anchorage housing market,” said the mayor’s statement.

The Assembly had narrowly approved the new short-term rental regulations in a 7-5 vote Tuesday night. 

South Anchorage Assembly member Randy Sulte was one of the sponsors of the measure. He said it was aimed at seeing the impact of short-term rentals on the city’s housing shortage. 

“I definitely want to protect property rights,” Sulte said. “I get it. But I also want to make sure we protect neighborhoods, and we get complaints related to STRs and how they’re operated.”

Sulte said it’s unlikely the mayor’s veto will be overridden. The Assembly would need eight votes. He said he’s hopeful that the Assembly will be able to take other steps in the future to foster more housing.

“At the end of the day, we’ve got to make it cheaper to build in Alaska,” Sulte said.

Original story:

Short-term rental owners in Alaska’s biggest city will be required to locally license their operations following Anchorage Assembly action last Tuesday night. 

The exact date the requirement will kick in will be determined by the municipal clerk, but could be as early as Sept. 16. The clerk must publish the date by July 17. 

The divided Assembly voted 7-5 for the licensing requirements. The program imposes some fees and obligations on operators of Airbnbs, Vrbos and other short-term rentals. Supporters say the program will inform city officials about how the growing short-term rental market is affecting the overall housing market.

Assembly member Kevin Cross said he’s been both an AirBnB host and a regular landlord. He said being a landlord to long-term tenants comes with more risk, more legal issues and lower profits. 

“Listen, you don’t need to create another bureaucracy to figure out why being a landlord sucks, why you would want to go to AirBnB,” he said. “The information is out there. Talk to the real estate industry, talk to the owners. We do not need more government. We do not need more regulation.” 

The Assembly debated the ordinance more extensively at its last meeting, but put off the vote so that member Kameron Perez-Verdia, who had been traveling, could cast the deciding vote Tuesday night. 

“What’s being proposed is very reasonable in terms of the regulation,” he said. “The fines and the expectations are, I think, reasonable and minimal and make sense to me.”

Members Perez-Verdia, Meg Zaletel, Randy Sulte, Felix Rivera, Daniel Volland, Anna Brawley and Zac Johnson voted for the measure. Cross, Scott Myers, George Martinez, Karen Bronga and Chris Constant voted no.

Jeremy Hsieh covers Anchorage with an emphasis on housing, homelessness, infrastructure and development. Reach him at or 907-550-8428. Read more about Jeremy here.

Wesley Early covers Anchorage life and city politics for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at and follow him on X at @wesley_early. Read more about Wesley here.

Previous articlePeltola has fish on her mind during Cama-i trip to Bethel
Next articleAnchorage ombudsman substantiates several allegations made by ousted city manager