Islanders plot against state vacation rental legislation

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Cari Roth
State Sen. Greg Steube

He’s baaack, and backing new legislation scary to many Anna Maria Island property owners and elected officials.

State Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, has filed Senate Bill 1400 to give the state complete control over vacation rental properties.

SB 1400: Vacation rental bill at a glance
What: Senate Bill 1400 would give the state complete control over vacation rental properties.
Who: State Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota.
When: Filed Dec. 28, 2017. Effective July 1, if passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor.
What it means: “The bill would prevent local governments from regulating vacation rental properties,” wrote Holmes Beach lobbyist Cari Roth.

“The bill would prevent local governments from regulating vacation rental properties,” Holmes Beach lobbyist Cari Roth wrote in a Dec. 29, 2017, email to Mayor Bob Johnson.

The issue of regulating vacation rental properties has been hotly debated in recent years with local governments fighting attempts such as Steube’s to shift control to the state.

Johnson and the Holmes Beach City Commission have directed Roth to lobby against SB 1400.

Bradenton Beach and Anna Maria also have lobbyists working to preserve home rule, fighting legislation designed to give the state more governing power.

The Florida Vacation Rental Act would grant control of vacation rentals to the state division of hotels and restaurants.

SB 1400 was filed Dec. 28. The legislative session opened Jan. 9.

Roth said the bill would protect owner rights to use residential properties as vacation rentals.

Vacation rentals include single-family homes and condos rented for less than six months, Roth noted.

SB 1400 also would require vacation rental property owners to obtain a state license, treat vacation rentals as transient rentals regarding certain tax, landlord and tenant provisions and require the division to inspect vacation rentals in response to emergencies and epidemiological conditions.

Steube has been critical of attempts by Florida cities, including Holmes Beach, to regulate short-term rentals, comparing local laws to communism after China suspended home-sharing services.

Opponents defeated a similar bill offered by Steube a year ago.

In 2017, Steube withdrew his short-term rental bill after numerous amended versions failed to attract support from fellow legislators. It was tabled May 2, 2017, by the Legislature.

In 2018, has offered two bills aimed at governing short-term rentals. SB 1400 and SB 1138, filed Dec. 6, 2017, in advance of SB 1400, would regulate public lodging minimum-stay requirements.

The bills would become law July 1 if passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor.

One thought on “Islanders plot against state vacation rental legislation

  1. Paula

    Steube speaks on behalf of the vacation rental industry, along with his buddy La Rosa (who has also sponsored a bill to give control to the state ).

    Do what they did in Flagler County last year – organize a protest outside your community against Steube and invite newspapers and TV stations. It worked for Flagler. Flagler’s uncooperative so-called reps voted no to losing local control after the protest. Good luck. We all need to fight this.

    Our legislators don’t realize it’s the residents that bring good jobs – doctors, dentists, car dealerships, etc. And they VOLUNTEER!

    Reply

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