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Committee Debates Potential Changes To Airbnb Bill

Rep. Matt Lehman (R-Berne) says he wants to clear up vagueness in his legislation regulating short-term rentals.

Photo: Lauren Chapman (IPB News)

Rep. Matt Lehman (R-Berne) says he wants to clear up vagueness in his legislation regulating short-term rentals.

Legislation to regulate short-term rentals such as Airbnb may undergo some tweaks in the Senate.

The measure prohibits local governments from banning short-term rentals. It does allow locals to require permits for those who use platforms such as Airbnb. And it says municipalities can charge a permit fee of up to $150.

But it’s silent on how often local units can charge that fee. The bill’s author, Rep. Matt Lehman (R-Berne) says he wants to clarify that rental owners only need to pay when they first receive the permit.

“If I lose that permit and I then come back and reapply in the time allowed, then I have to pay the $150 again,” Lehman says.

Rental owners can lose their permit if they incur three or more citations from local governments.

Other potential changes to the bill discussed in a Senate committee Wednesday include language to more specifically define the online platforms that facilitate short-term rentals.

The committee plans to vote on amendments and the bill itself next week.

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