INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
The Indiana House narrowly failed to pass a proposal Wednesday that would
have banned local governments from regulating short-term rentals like Airbnb,
likely imperiling the measure for the session.
Rep. Matt Lehman’s
bill was an attempt to navigate regulations on short-term rentals amid a
changing market, which he says would protect the private property rights of
citizens. It faced opposition from both sides of the aisle, though, with
critics saying it would have usurped local control of Indiana’s cities and
The House voted
50-46 in favor of the measure, but it needed 51 votes to pass. House Speaker
Brian Bosma opted not to vote.
“I’m honestly torn
on it, between local control and the new economy emerging. This bill does
not have my full confidence,” the Indianapolis Republican later explained.
The vote doesn’t
guarantee the measure is dead for the session, but it seems likely, as there
are just two more business days before the Legislature hopes to adjourn and
there is significant disagreement over the issue.
After the vote,
Lehman declined to say definitively whether he would bring the measure back
this session. The Berne Republican wrote in a statement that he is
“reviewing the bill and taking a moment to look at all the options that are
on the table.”
As the emerging
“short-term rental” market has grown nationwide, so too have cities’
restrictions, including in New Orleans, Chicago, New York and several in
If passed, Lehman’s
bill would have barred local governments from enacting ordinances that
prohibit or regulate short-term rentals, except to protect the public’s
health and safety. It would have allowed local authorities to continue to
address problem renters through building or noise ordinances, among other
things, but it would have required that the enforcement of those regulations
be equal across properties.
Those who opposed
the measure say local governments are best suited to regulate their own
communities and know how best to address the market for their constituents.
wrong with Airbnb and short-term rentals,” said Rep. Jerry Torr, a
Republican from Carmel. “The question is really two-fold: Where is it
appropriate and where isn’t it? And who’s in the best position, in terms of
local government, to determine that for a local community?”