by J.D. Davidson
Ohio homeowners who want to get into the Arbnb business got a boost recently when a bill that would limit local restrictions moved out of a house committee.
Committee approval came over objections from several local government entities, the Ohio Hotel & Lodging Association and the Ohio Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus.
House Bill 563 would stop counties, townships and municipalities from adopting or enforcing regulations or restrictions to stop short-term property rentals. That draws support from real estate groups and the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, as well as The Buckeye Institute, a Columbus-based policy group that said banning short-term rentals is bad for the state’s competitiveness.
In his testimony, Logan Kolas, an economic policy analyst at The Buckeye Institute, noted efforts to regulate rental properties and online businesses such as Airbnb and Vrbo limits homeowners’ ability to “make business and financial decisions that are right for them and their families.”
Kolas also said prohibiting short-term rentals would come at a time when Ohioians are dealing with both inflation and rising housing costs. Adding local regulation, he said, would only make things worse.
Tony Long, director of tax and economic policy for the Ohio Chamber, said short-term rentals meet a new economy for both travel and providing options for families between a home sale and move-in date.
“A 2021 survey conducted by Dave Binder Research asked Ohio voters whether they support or oppose allowing Ohio residents to rent out their homes on Airbnb. Seventy-four percent of the respondents say they support, while only 16% oppose,” Long said. “Local communities should be barred from prohibiting short-term rentals that do not harm the safety of the community and are used in a lawful manner.”
Hotel owners worry the bill would create an unfair situation in terms of local taxes, putting hotels in an unfair situation.
“Our members also feel one of the most important aspects of this growing business sector that must be addressed is the issue of parity in taxation. Short-term rentals should be subject to the same sales and lodging taxes as other types of transient accommodations and should work in good faith to comply with any efforts to update state and local codes to recognize this need,” said Joe Savarise, president and CEO of the Ohio Hotel and Lodging Association.
No timetable has been established for the bill to reach the House floor. The House returns to session Monday.
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An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher. Davidson is a regional editor for The Center Square.