The Florida League of Cities on Monday unveiled its priority list for the upcoming 2021 Legislative Session.
The League publishes a Legislative Action Agenda each year prior to the Legislative Session. This year, some of their priorities include online sales tax, land annexation, short-term rentals, affordable housing and more.
“Florida’s local officials are actively engaged and hard at work as we prepare for the 2021 Legislative Session,” said Florida League of Cities President Tony Ortiz, who is also a City of Orlando commissioner. “We’re eager to work with our partners at the state level during the upcoming session, and while we’re optimistic about that partnership, we remain committed to our mission of protecting local decision-making for Florida’s cities, towns and villages.”
According to the League’s 2021 agenda, the more than 90-year-old group will push for a sales tax to be added to online sales from out-of-state retailers. They contended that changes are needed to “ensure in-state retailers are treated equitably.”
The League will also support legislation that further allows municipalities to annex unincorporated areas and expand boundaries.
“Currently, the annexation process makes it difficult for cities to annex certain unincorporated enclaves and unincorporated areas where city services are already being provided,” the action agenda says.
Short-term rentals are again top of mind for The League in 2021. This year, they’re signaling support for legislation that would allow cities to amend past ordinances or draft new ones regarding short term rentals.
Additionally, the League signaled support for legislation that would require short-term rentals such as AirBnB to seek license and insurance as well as comply with state and local taxes.
Cities with existing ordinance were preempted from regulating short-term vacation rentals in 2011.
The League’s priority issues are intended to address areas that have a statewide impact on daily municipal operations and governance.
Casey Cook, the league’s legislative affairs director, said the priorities were drafted through policy committees and with consideration for member feedback.
“Local decision-making remains key to ensuring the continued safety and well-being of residents, and this agenda showcases the important role that Florida’s 411 cities play in the success of our state,” Cook said.
The League’s 2021 Legislative Action Agenda items can be found online.
Florida’s Legislative Session begins on March 2, 2021.