Legislation to regulate short-term rental properties in Michigan is expected to be introduced in Lansing next week.
State Representative Joey Andrews addressed the Berrien County Board of Commissioners this week, saying the new plan will create a state registry of short-term rentals to ensure complaints about them can be lodged and tracked. Andrews said the goal is to give local communities as much control over STRs as possible.
“What we’re basically doing is instructing LARA to create a registry that Airbnb, Vrbo, these platforms would have to register their rentals and that individual renters would also have to register to then be available to local governments to see who’s acting, who’s in their region to make sure that these people are properly licensed in their communities as well,” Andrews said.
Andrews said the registry will raise money that will go back to local governments through a 6% excise tax on STRs, if the local governments choose to opt in. Andrews said the goal is to help municipalities recover the costs associated with having a lot of vacation rentals in town.
“Sort of acknowledging this added burden exists because tourism is a part of the economy with the hope that’ll help these local communities make ends meet and continue to be able to invest in themselves.”
Andrews says the package also encourages the development of more affordable housing, recognizing that a local of it has led to staffing shortages in the hospitality industry. He noted right in Berrien County, we have seen restaurants shut down in the past year because they can’t get enough staff.