Supporters Vow To Resurrect Airbnb Bill Next Session

May 5, 2017

Supporters of legislation stopping locals from banning short-term rentals like Airbnb say they’ll be back next session after the bill failed in 2017.

And even its opponents are ready to work on the measure again.

The legislation would have barred local governments from banning short-term rentals, while imposing few limitations on services like Airbnb. It failed to pass twice on the House floor this session before its author – Rep. Matt Lehman (R-Berne) – chose not to try again, letting it die.

Still, Lehman isn’t deterred. He says he doesn’t think a summer study committee is necessary. But he says he’ll work on the issue over the next year, trying to find a balance between adapting to an emerging economy and respecting local control.

“You have to find that balance. And I don’t think that’s through study; I think it’s just through data,” Lehman says.

Rep. Jerry Torr (R-Carmel), one of the bill’s most vocal opponents, says he’s hopeful that, before next session, more communities create ordinances that the legislature can use as a guide.

“That recognizes that this thing’s coming and is already here and we need to allow for it – but also be respectful of the property rights of the people who live next door,” Torr says.

Torr adds he thinks the bill’s failure this past session could help produce a better product next time.