Beacon Statement on the Homesharing Bill
BY JUSTIN OWEN
Below is a statement from Beacon CEO Justin Owen on the homesharing bill that failed to pass yesterday.
It’s disappointing for Nashville homeowners that, despite the House voting to protect them, the support simply was not there to do the same in the Senate yesterday. The bill to address homesharing, amended down to apply only to Nashville as a result of its current attempts to ban the practice, was delayed until 2018.
Fortunately, senators expressed concerns about Nashville’s actions and called on the city to take a more reasoned, balanced approach to regulating homesharing without banning it outright. If Nashville – or any other city for that matter – fails to heed this advice, it should be to its peril.
We live in a society where government cannot and should not tell its citizens they can do something, and then pull the rug out from under them. Nashville homeowners who rent out their homes to tourists visiting our city have obtained permits, complied with the rules, and paid their taxes. The ordinance pending before the Metro Nashville Council would break its prior promise that as long as homeowners abide by the rules, they could continue to serve tourists. That is antithetical to the American way.
What makes this situation even worse is the way this bill was delayed. Standing in the way of this bill moving to the Senate floor were hoards of taxpayer-funded lobbyists working against the very taxpayers they are supposed to represent. Homeowners who rent their homes on a short-term basis had to fork over their hard-earned tax dollars so that their cities could hire lobbyists to fight against their right to participate in the homesharing economy. Forcing Tennesseans to pay for taxpayer-funded lobbyists against their will is immoral and should be stopped.
Hopefully, Nashville government officials will come to their senses on homesharing and focus on punishing bad actors, while enforcing sensible rules and regulations to protect our neighborhoods. But if they continue to trample on property rights at the behest of a powerful hotel industry and with taxpayer-funded lobbyists doing their bidding, then we will be back in full force at the General Assembly next year to stand up for the homeowners they failed to protect.