This article summarizes the various sides in this controversy:
Missing and conveniently overlooked in this and all arguments by the proponents of HB425 and SB188 is the fact that the state originally created this problem in 2011 by preempting all local regulation of vacation rentals. This allowed the conversion of existing homes and development of new large vacation rentals by corporate interests in what were traditionally residential neighborhoods. It is these businesses, artificially created through an industry backed state-created loophole that are being used by proponents to advocate for property rights. However, these properties are being presented in the “widows and orphans” argument that the little guy is being hurt by not being able to rent their residence. In fact in all the testimony viewed by this committee only 2 witnesses have come forth in support of these bills. One witness was a woman who bought a second home in 2007 on a golf course. The golf course went bankrupt and she is under water on the house so has to rent it to survive. The second witness coming before Senator Hutson’s Committee was allowed 6 minutes to explain how she loved having AirBnB guests in her Miami home. This was after numerous opponents of the bill were limited to 1 minute each to testify. In neither case did either witness claim that they were unable to rent their residence under current regulations. It’s hard to make the leap from this testimony to bills that strip away all home rule authority from local government.