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Springfield, MO

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Letter to the Editor: Short-term rentals at risk in Missouri

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I wholeheartedly support the private property rights of homeowners, and I support the right of residential property owners to offer short-term rentals. Those rights are at risk. Cities in Missouri have banned short-term rentals with little notice or public input. But with rights come responsibilities, and your right to use your property is limited when it infringes upon those of your neighbors to peaceably enjoy their homes. That’s why I sponsored Missouri House Bill 608.

The bill sets common sense rules for STRs: It prohibits future outright bans of STRs by municipalities, establishes a statewide regulatory framework, and promotes compliance and appropriate taxation. The bill balances the interests of local communities, traditional lodging establishments and homeowners.

The Missouri House of Representatives understands the potential of the innovation economy to drive economic growth. Stakeholders and colleagues have pledged their support for this legislation because it respects both property rights and local control and it promotes the stable growth of STRs on a level playing field with traditional hotels. That’s why two legislative committees have given unanimous, bipartisan approval to the bill. Next it heads to the House floor for consideration.

Missouri tourism benefits from a thriving market for vacation rentals. Thousands of properties are listed in the state on various peer-to-peer websites. STRs generate about $300 million a year in economic activity, supporting 3,000 jobs statewide. STRs also generate state sales tax and local occupancy tax revenue. HB 608 ensures that working families who want to participate in the sharing economy with their biggest asset can continue to do so, and those looking for affordable guest accommodations can continue to enjoy options tailored to their needs.

—State Rep. Sonya Murray Anderson, R-Springfield

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