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The Buckeye Institute: Let All Ohioans Reap the Benefits of Online Property Rentals



May 10, 2022

Columbus, Ohio – On Tuesday, The Buckeye Institute testified (see full text below or download a pdf) before the Ohio House State and Local Government Committee on House Bill 563 policies, which would allow Ohio landlords to financially take advantage of new online rental options such as Airbnb and Vrbo.

In his testimony, Logan Kolas, an economic policy analyst at the Buckeye Institute, noted that efforts to regulate rental properties and online businesses such as Airbnb and Vrbo limit landlords’ ability to “make business and financial decisions that are good for them and their families. ”, and, as indicated in An Introduction to Policies for Emerging Technologies in Ohio” to choke[s] innovative and beneficial ideas.

House Bill 563, Kolas pointed out, “judiciously preempts local restrictions that would prohibit short-term rental arrangements or make them grossly uncompetitive,” which is especially important as “citizens across the state are battling inflation and the dramatic rise in housing costs”.

Noting that “rules and regulations are already making housing more expensive,” Kolas urged lawmakers to “stop local municipalities from making the problem worse” and “empower Ohio families and travelers to make housing and financial decisions that suit them”.

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Banning short-term rentals hurts Ohio’s competitiveness

Testimony of the interested party
Ohio House State and Local Government Committee
House Bill 563

Logan Kolas, Economic Policy Analyst
The Buckeye Institute
May 10, 2022

As prepared for delivery

President Wiggam, Vice President John, Ranking Member Kelly, and committee members, thank you for the opportunity to testify today regarding Bill 563 and Ohio’s efforts to empower citizens across the state to make their own financial decisions.

My name is Logan Kolas. I’m the economic policy analyst at the Buckeye Institute, an independent research and education institution – a think tank – whose mission is to advance free-market public policy in the states.

House Bill 563 takes laudable step to ensure Ohio doesn’t fall even further behind its more competitive and innovative peers. And perhaps most importantly, the legislation empowers Ohio homeowners to make business and financial decisions that are good for them and their families.

Local and municipal governments have increasingly sought to regulate rental properties and online businesses such as Airbnb and Vrbo. Such regulations would be a mistake – and a patchwork of them, exponentially. Like the Buckeye Institute report Policy Solutions for More Innovation: An Introduction to Emerging Technology Policy in Ohio explained, uncoordinated regulatory regimes across hundreds of municipalities can stifle innovative and beneficial ideas.

Airbnb, for example, has disrupted the traditional peer-to-peer accommodation model by offering landlords a powerful new online rental option. The innovative company empowers homeowners across the state and of all economic classes to turn their homes into a lucrative source of additional income. But varied and competing local restrictions and ordinances could threaten Airbnb’s business model, make the service more expensive and less attractive to residential landlords, and thus stifle an emerging tech service that would otherwise prove valuable to travelers and landlords. .

House Bill 563 wisely anticipates local restrictions that would prohibit short-term rental arrangements or make them grossly uncompetitive.

Protecting innovative business ideas and additional sources of income is especially important today, as citizens across the state struggle with inflation and dramatically rising housing costs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 35 percent of average household spending is on housing – more than double the amount spent on transportation, nearly triple the amount spent on food, and more than four times the amount spent on health care. These outsized expenses mean that even small changes in house prices can significantly affect family budgets. Local regulatory restrictions that prevent landlords from generating additional short-term rental income to make ends meet would be part of the problem, not the solution.

Rules and Regulations are already making housing more expensive than it otherwise would be, reducing the purchasing power and quality of life for residents across the state. House Bill 563 will help prevent local municipalities from making the problem worse and allow Ohio families and travelers to make the financial and lodging decisions that are right for them.

Thank you for your time and attention. I would be happy to answer any questions the committee may have.

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