A recent poll from Mason-Dixon research showed that Florida residents overwhelmingly support vacation rentals. An astonishing 93 percent of respondents believe Florida visitors should be allowed to stay in accommodations other than hotels.
For decades, Florida's warm weather and pristine beaches have attracted travelers from across the globe. Vacation rentals bolster Florida's reputation as a premier destination by offering visitors a different experience from hotels, while also driving visitor spending to Florida homeowners and businesses. According to the poll, 80 percent of respondents believe vacation rentals are important to the economy. These respondents are right -- vacation rentals generate more than $30 billion for Florida's economy.
Given the widespread support for vacation rentals, the politics surrounding regulating the industry should be equally supportive, right? Sadly, special interests are pushing for outright bans in municipalities across the state, against the popular will of Floridians. More than 60 percent of poll respondents said local governments should not be allowed to ban short-term renting.
Recently, Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, and Rep. Mike La Rosa, R-St. Cloud, introduced bills to protect vacation rentals. SB 188 and HB 425 would prohibit local government from banning vacation rentals. I urge other state legislators to stand with Floridians and support these bills.
Deltona-resident Denis Hanks is the head of the Florida Vacation Rental Managers Association.