For several months now, every time the St. Joseph City Commission has met they have discussed efforts in Lansing to change short-term rental legislation which would essentially strip local control from communities state-wide. Other local municipalities and the Berrien County Board have also taken up the issue as it works through committees at the State Capitol.
Now comes the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association bearing new survey data they say shows Michigan voters are overwhelmingly opposed to the lost of local control on short-term rental properties.
The MRLA has released this morning the results of a recent statewide survey demonstrating strong voter preference for retaining local control of short-term rental properties and a desire for a balanced solution to their rapid proliferation in recent years. The association says that the survey “provides a compelling rebuke of House Bill 4722, which seeks to preempt local regulation of short-term rentals.”
Justin Winslow, President & CEO of the association, tells us, “There is an awful lot that seems to divide voters in Michigan these days,” and adds, “How best to deal with the growing number of Airbnb properties in our communities clearly isn’t one of them. Voters across the political spectrum care deeply about preserving the safety and integrity of their own neighborhoods and Michigan’s elected leaders would be well-served to heed that sentiment.”
Survey highlights include:
- 89-percent of voters are concerned that taking away local control of short-term rentals would result in increased housing costs, more crime and fewer homes for residents
- 79-percent of voters say the local city, township or county government should set rules and regulations
- 74-percent of voters say local communities should be allowed to set their own rules because each is different and may want different things
- 72-percent of voters support legislation that creates a more level regulatory playing field between short term rentals and hotels, while preventing local government from banning short term rentals, but allowing them to continue to control them.
- 70-percent of voters oppose legislation that would take away the power of local governments to control short-term rentals like Airbnb and VRBO
- 82-percent of voters agree that local governments in Michigan are better equipped to protect their neighborhoods from the negative impact of short-term rentals than the state government in Lansing
- 79-percent say short-term rentals should be taxed the same as hotels
Winslow argues, “The rapid growth of short-term rentals in recent years has been substantially driven not by homeowners, but by corporations that operate several properties much like hotels,” adding, “But unlike hotels, they are not held to the same rigorous safety standards and in most instances do not contribute to the regional tourism infrastructure from which they benefit. Through this survey, Michiganders have stated emphatically that it is time for policy makers to come together to forge a solution that preserves local control, fosters safety and security in our communities and creates regulatory parity so that hotels and short terms rentals may compete on a more level playing field.”
TargetPoint Consulting conducted the statewide survey from June 24th-27th, 2021 among 400 registered voters in Michigan. The survey was conducted online. The margin of error is 4.9-percent.
Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association is the recognized leader of Michigan’s hospitality industry, providing essential services to the foodservice and lodging community. Founded in 1921 as the Michigan Restaurant Association and now known as the MRLA, the Association represents over 5,000 Michigan foodservice and lodging establishments. The industry plays an integral role in Michigan’s economy, employing more than 595,000 people and creating nearly $40 billion in annual sales. For more information, you can visit http://www.mrla.org.