By Linda Curry and April Towle
Final month, Arizona lawmakers had a possibility to help laws that might have made it simpler for native cities to deal with nuisance short-term rental properties which were the reason for events and neighborhood complaints.
For the higher half of this yr, leaders from Paradise Valley and different cities wrote spirited opinion items and performed interviews with retailers throughout the state to spotlight how unhealthy the issue had gotten of their communities.
It’s arduous to reconcile these requires options with the efforts made by these similar voices final month to kill laws that might have addressed these very considerations.
A proposal launched by Senator J.D. Mesnard would have allowed cities to impose escalating fines, enhance penalties for failing to register a contact particular person with native authorities, and droop a short-term rental operator’s tax license in an effort to goal the unhealthy apples who give the broader short-term rental neighborhood a nasty identify.
The proposal was a direct response to the calls from many native jurisdictions on the lookout for methods to deal with nuisance properties of their neighborhoods. And but, regardless of these provisions, the League of Arizona Cities and Cities led lobbying efforts to derail the laws. In a 17-43 vote, the invoice didn’t go the Home.
The invoice’s failure is disappointing, but it surely confirms what many short-term rental hosts have feared all alongside: the calls for added rules usually are not centered on significant options, however slightly a concerted effort to enact new legal guidelines that might make it simpler for some cities to ban short-term leases altogether.
As we glance to the longer term, advocates of extra short-term rental rules should be trustworthy with Arizona residents about their intentions. Cities want instruments to deal with nuisance properties, however these efforts shouldn’t be used as a Trojan Horse by sure communities to put off short-term leases totally.
Enacting laws that enables cities to outright ban short-term leases would violate the property rights of Arizona residents, take cash out of the pockets of house owners who depend on the earnings, and make it tougher for our state to get better from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tourism is Arizona’s primary export trade, and helped generate practically $3.8 billion in tax income and $25.6 billion in direct spending in 2019, in accordance with the Arizona Workplace of Tourism. As journey slowly rebounds, the state will want a various array of lodging, together with short-term leases, to draw vacationers.
Now greater than ever, short-term leases ship what vacationers are on the lookout for: personal properties that supply friends extra space and management, and with out the effort of densely-populated vacationer and lodge districts.
The underside line is straightforward: we are able to undertake honest guidelines that handle the small minority of unhealthy short-term rental actors and shield the advantages these present to our economic system and the Arizona residents who depend on them to complement their earnings.
Editor’s Observe: Linda Curry lives in Mesa and owns a short-term rental in the identical neighborhood. April Towle lives in Phoenix and owns a short-term rental in Williams.