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Short-term rental bill rejected by House panel


Short-term rental bill rejected by House panel

Mar 29, 2023 | 8:10 pm ET
By Antoinette Grajeda
Short-term rental bill rejected by House panel
Rep. Brit McKenzie, R-Rogers, presents Senate Bill 197 in committee on Mar. 29, 2023. (Screenshot from livestream)

The House City, County and Local Affairs Committee on Wednesday voted down legislation to deregulate short-term rentals in Arkansas. 

Senate Bill 197 proposed prohibiting local municipalities from enacting ordinances to prohibit or limit the use of a property as a short-term rental. 

The legislation defines short-term rental as a single-family home, a unit in a condominium or timeshare, or an owner-occupied residential home that’s offered for a fee for 30 days or less.

The House committee listened to hours of testimony on Mar. 15, but delayed voting on the measure until after Spring Break. A dozen people spoke in favor of the bill, while thirty-three people spoke against it. 

During Wednesday’s meeting, House sponsor Rep. Brit McKenzie (R-Rogers) thanked committee members for taking the time to listen to constituents. 

“When bills of significance come in front of us, we afford the opportunity for constituents to let their voices be heard, and I appreciate all of us sticking together for six hours to hear the fors and against,” McKenzie said. “And again, I’m a firm believer in no friction, no fire.”   

Those who spoke in favor of the bill said, as property owners, they had the right to buy, sell or rent their property and generate income. 

Opponents of the bill argued short-term rentals are contributing to a lack of affordable housing in their areas, and it removed local control from municipalities whom they said best know how to develop solutions for their communities.