Sponsors of House Bill 563 say it would, if passed, prohibit outright bans on short term rental units but not stop municipalities from regulating them.
The bill was assigned to the Local Government Committee of the House of Representatives where it has received extensive testimony from opponents and proponents.
“Ohioans should always have the right to use what is often their most valuable asset, their homes, as an investment to make money through short-term rental,” said Rep. Sarah Fowler Arthur, a co-sponsor, when she introduced the bill last month.
Analysis by the Ohio Legislative Service Commission notes that current state law doesn’t provide for regulation of short-term rental properties, which the bill defines as a house, apartment, condominium, co-op unit, cabin, cottage or bungalow or one or more rooms offered to transients or travelers for a fee for 30 days or less.
Marisa Myers, director of governmental affairs for the Ohio Township Association, said the bill would, in effect, hurt townships’ ability to control land use.
“For townships, the issue of short-term rental regulation is, at its core, a zoning issue. House Bill 563 restricts local governments from prohibiting short-term rental properties within their community,” she said. “It also prohibits a local government from regulating short-term rental properties, specifically the number, duration, or frequency of rental periods. This essentially usurps township zoning regulations that may be put into place regarding these uses.”
She also said the bill doesn’t address taxation issues.
“Under current law, hotels (or their transient guests) may be required to pay a lodging tax. Since short-term rentals are operating as an alternative to hotels, the OTA respectfully requests the committee consider clarifying that lodging taxes apply here too,” she said. “Further, if lodging taxes do apply, the committee may consider how communities are able to collect these dollars. Townships, in particular, are not permitted to register short-term rentals outside of zoning requirements (for example, through conditional use permits.) Unless there is a mechanism to register these properties, it’s unlikely a local community would be able to enforce collection of required lodging taxes.”
The Ohio Chamber of Commerce is supporting the bill.
“HB 563 recognizes the growing importance of short-term rentals to Ohio’s economy and reflects the growing use of these short-term rentals to meet the new economy, new reasons for travel and transient needs of residents, such as families between a home sold and new move-in date, or those that may have extended family visiting,” Tony Long, director of tax and economic policy for the chamber, told the committee.
He said the bill is pro-active in creating a statewide regulatory framework that “balances the safety of a local community with the private property rights of Ohioans who want to provide lodging on a …….