Vacation rental preemption left Ron DeSantis cold, but it’s back in 2021
He's coming home: Jason Fischer is running for Duval County Property Appraiser.

Home Rule challenge back again with same House, Senate sponsors.

Bills to preempt local rules on vacation rentals appeared ready to pass in the House and the Senate before the Governor said he wasn’t a fan.

Gov. Ron DeSantis told reporters last February he “expressed privately” his “concerns” about “micromanaging vacation rentals” as something that “should be determined locally.”

While DeSantis has given no indication that he has changed his mind, the House will join the Senate in considering revived legislation as of Tuesday.

Rep. Jason Fischer‘s revived HB 219 would change how short-term rentals, such as Airbnb, VRBO, and others are regulated, with platforms required to verify state licensure.

Platforms will have to have mechanisms for taxation and require licensure for listing, but concerns still remain about the state’s ability to enforce its guidelines.

Just as the state regulates public lodging (hotels and motels) and food service establishments, so too would it regulate Airbnb, VRBO, and the like via Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR).

Regulations of such are only permitted if they apply to all properties, including long-term rentals and owner-occupied homes.

Laws passed before June 2011 will be grandfathered. However, laws from the intervening nine years would be limited, with local zoning not just “singling out” short-term rentals.

In turn, owners of rented properties have certain obligations, primary among them: a display of their Vacation Rental Dwelling License.

The bill also has provisions that tighten regulations on the short-term rental services themselves. Among them are requirements for display of license, sales tax, and tourist development tax information.

Quarterly verification is required, along with a stipulation that noncompliant properties are removed from platforms within 15 days.

The Senate version is being run by its 2020 sponsor, Sen. Manny Diaz, Jr. Both bills found traction. Fischer’s died on the House calendar, and Diaz’s had but one committee to go in the Senate.

Florida Politics reached out to Fischer for comment on the revived preemption push and whether DeSantis has warmed to the proposal and will update if he responds.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski

One comment

  • Charles

    January 14, 2021 at 1:51 pm

    Local rule sounds great on paper, but in reality there are two groups in question – full time residents that can vote in local elections, and vacation home owners that can’t vote in local elections. In many beach communities, like Anna Maria Island, the vacation home owners who arent full-time residents represent the overwhelming majority of total property taxes paid, but have zero say in how these local regulations are created. As a part-time beach resident myself, who pays a higher rate of taxes than the full-time residents, I’m insulted by the concept of local rule when I know the rules are decided by a small minority of home owners. Unless they are going to allow all homeowners to vote, then the next fairest alternative is to let the state set the rules. We need to be focused on what’s best for the entire region, not just the select few that can afford to live in these areas fulltime.

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