Finance Florida

Florida To Soon Get a Short-Term Rentals Regulation Law

Florida To Soon Get a Short-Term Rentals Regulation Law

Miami-Dade, FL: Florida TaxWatch has published a new report detailing the economic repercussions of unlicensed vacation rentals in the Sunshine State, as legislators attempt to address the problem through legislation.

In light of instances of tax evasion, the report Unlicensed Vacation Rentals: An Analysis of Florida’s Tourism-Driven Economy asserts that unlicensed vacation rentals require greater transparency. They also endanger the safety of neighbors and short-term tenants by disregarding fire code compliance and other safety measures.

Legislators are advancing proposals to address the matter.

Sen. Nick DiCeglie, R-St. Petersburg had his Senate Bill 280, which pertains to vacation rentals, advanced by the Senate Committee on Fiscal Policy on Thursday. DiCeglie stated in the introduction of his measure that it collects taxes via advertising platforms and pays operating expenses, among other responsibilities.

“The goal here is very simply to create a uniform set of standards of regulations for vacation rentals,” DiCeglie said. “In my opinion, that is going to create predictability at the local level for local governments, for the residents who live in the community, for property owners who want to exercise their property rights and for the platforms.”

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Dominic M. Calabro, president and chief executive officer of Florida TaxWatch, stated in a news release that reform is necessary due to the dangers posed to taxpayers and renters.

“While vacation rental properties play a critical role in Florida’s tourism-driven economy, unlicensed vacation rentals have become all too common, posing a risk to the wellbeing of renters and, given the fraudulent withholding of tax dollars, potentially increasing the cost burden on dutiful taxpayers,” Calabro said in the news release.

“While vacation rental properties play a critical role in Florida’s tourism-driven economy, unlicensed vacation rentals have become all too common, posing a risk to the wellbeing of renters and, given the fraudulent withholding of tax dollars, potentially increasing the cost burden on dutiful taxpayers,” Calabro stated in a news release.

Based on the report, Florida received an estimated 137 million visitors in 2022, during which time the state possessed an estimated 174,000 vacation rental-licensed condominiums and dwellings. This represents a 33 percent increase in comparison to 2017.

A minimum of 49,280 unlicensed vacation rentals are located in Florida, according to the report. In addition, the report estimates that the Sunshine State could lose more than $21.3 million in lost property taxes, licensing fees, local taxes, and registration costs for a single day of unlicensed rental activity in November 2023.

In addition to establishing a method for hosting platforms to collect and remit local and state taxes that is subject to routine auditing, Florida TaxWatch advised legislators to mandate the posting of registration numbers on platforms that facilitate vacation rentals and propose a data source for monitoring such activity. A further recommendation was that legislators involve interested parties in the process.

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