Emergency Call to Action: Vacation Rental Legislation

HCS HB 608 is moving through the house FAST!

We need to reach out to the legislative leadership NOW!

Please read below for an easy point by point on how you can help.  Also find the bills attached with problem area highlighted.

Please forward to your friends and colleagues…

HCS HB 608 Overview

Problems with the bill

  1. Page 2, Section 2, lines 20-23.   It has a wide open Killing Window – We need to Ban the Ban. If this bill protects Vacation Rentals from being banned then why is there a Ban Provision at all?
  2. Page 3, Section 7, lines 25-27.  It imposes unreasonable regulations on a vacation rental owners to investigate each transient in the form of a background check.  (Hotels and Motels do not even have this requirement)
  3. Page 4, Section 6, lines 8-18.  It forces vacation rental owners to pay sales and tourism tax (which most are happy to do anyway) however it does not give them any representation on the lodging leagues or districts which are collecting the tax from them.
  4. Page 5, Section 7, lines 5-10. This gives a facilitation platform such as Expedia, Homeaway the ability to regulate or even “hide” a listing that does not meet all of the applicable local licensing requirements.  At first glance this does not seem like a bad provision, but we are experiencing so many new changes and regulations of this industry our local fire departments such as Stone and Taney county do not even know what regulations to impose, so how can they issue a certificate of compliance if they don’t even know what is compliant. Therefore, all the local listings could be hidden from travelers view and income / bookings missed.
  5. Page 7, Section 8, lines 10-17. All 5 bedroom homes become “lodging establishments” instead of “residential rental dwellings” and are now subject to additional regulation and commercial treatment and taxation.  So second homes even rented for one night are now hotel/motels.
  6. Page 12, Section 4, lines 13-16.  All homes or condos rented for 183 nights become “lodging establishments” instead of “residential rental dwellings” and are now subject to additional regulation and commercial treatment and taxation.  So second homes even rented for one night are now hotel/motels.

Missouri Realtors Oppose this bill

MR’s Position – From Ryan G. President of MO Realtors

Therefore, our Advocacy Committee voted to oppose the bill and passed the following motions several weeks ago:

1.  To oppose HB 608/HB 632 if the legislation gets amended to require short-term rental property owners hold a business license.
2. To oppose HB 608/HB 632 unless there is language included to treat residential homes being used for vacation rental the same as similar residential property, in regards to requiring improvements to the property.  (i.e. fire suppression systems)
3.  To oppose HB 608/HB 632 unless the effective date is amended to August 28, 2017.  (many dates discussed so far have been after the first of the year or later before the law would take effect, giving to much of a window for cities or counties to rush and make changes)
These are the exact points I presented to the General Laws Committee of the Missouri Legislature when I testified in front of them back in late February.  Despite that effort, HB 608 was passed out of committee and moved forward in the legislative process.

Why this does not go far enough:

  1. It does not address the “killing window”  Why negotiate the killing window.  Why not ban the ban?
  2. It does not address the owners obligation to perform Criminal and Sex Offender Background Checks and attain guest SS #’s
  3. It does not address the 5 bedroom provision
  4. It does not address the 183 day provision

Is there an alternative?

Look closely at HB 988.  It is a substitute bill that addresses all of these issues. HB 988 is a bill introduced by Keith Frederick who has listened to homeowners instead of multi-national corporations like Expedia who this bill really protects. This bill is supposed to “level the playing field for hotels.”   Keith is a believer in our  5th amendment rights, (property rights) and feels that 608 takes rights away from property owners without due compensation.  He is a champion for freedom.

Why 988 is Better

It fixes all of this bad and unproductive language for VR owners and provides taxation with representation.

988 is a late entry that NEEDS to get attention from the legislative leadership

…it has to go to a committee hearing this week.

The best thing you can do NOW:

Reach out to House Speaker Todd Richardson

Please write a letter to the house speaker this week and also post on his public FB page…

  1. Explaining why HCS HB 608 is bad legislation for MO property owners and that we DO NOT WANT AMENDMENTS TO IT  we want it DEAD and replaced with 988
  2. Asking that HB 988 gets assigned to a Committee

It is Imperative that 10 people at minimum act on this request! Please do not wait.

 

 

Address: MO House of Representatives
201 West Capitol Avenue
Room 308
Jefferson City MO 65101
Phone: 573-751-4039
E-Mail: [email protected]

 

The second best thing you can do NOW:

Let MO Realtors know that they need to keep pushing harder:

  1. Go to www.missourirealtor.org
  2. Click the “Advocacy” TAB
  3. Select “MO Realtor Party” from the drop down menu
  4. Click the BIG RED “ACT NOW” button
  5. Fill out the form and …Please  request  Missouri Realtors kill HCS HB 608 and request that the speaker assign 988 to a committee

 

The third best thing you can do NOW:

Reach out to your local elected officials and speak specifically on the points of this issue.  Ask them to take an official position on this issue and to TAKE ACTION:

Is the Branson Mayor Involved?

Stone and Taney County Commissioners Involved?

State Representatives Involved?

I need help getting these people involved.  I have reached out to them multiple times with no reply or little interest. I understand that they may be busy on other issues, however this bill needs to be brought under spotlight and needs a rally like no other.

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