Bill package would balance community needs, tourism economy

LANSING, Mich., April 17, 2024 — State Rep. Joey Andrews (D-St. Joseph) testified before the House Local Government and Municipal Finance Committee today as the lead sponsor on a 10-bill package to give local governments the authority to reasonably regulate short-term rentals (STRs). As no regulatory framework exists in Michigan law, STRs have proliferated to a crisis point in many communities across the state.

A photo of state Rep. Joey Andrews testifying in committee accompanied by state Rep. Jenn Hill.

State Rep. Joey Andrews (D-St. Joseph) testifies before the House Local Government and Municipal Finance Committee, accompanied by state Rep. Jenn Hill (D-Marquette), on Wednesday, April 17, 2024, in the House Office Building in Lansing.

“In communities all over Michigan — especially, but not exclusively, communities such as those I represent along the Lakeshore — STRs are creating regulatory headaches at best and serious safety concerns at worst,” Andrews said. “It’s long past time we put some reasonable guardrails in place to allow local governments to address STRs, respect the needs of permanent residents and bolster our tourism economy.”

Andrews’ House Bill 5438 creates the Short-Term Rental Regulation Act, which defines STRs and creates a statewide regulatory structure for them, including platforms such as Airbnb that host rental listings. In addition to enhancing local control, the bill creates a statewide opt-in excise tax, the majority of which host communities could use to help fund increased public safety measures and other ways of supporting both local neighborhoods and STRs.

“Throughout the process of drafting and refining this legislation, local control was always the guidepost. Local officials know their communities best, and they are in the best position to create the right kind of ordinances for the STRs they host,” Andrews said. “I believe these bills strike the right balance between encouraging visitors to our beautiful cities and towns, and ensuring those communities retain the charm that makes them great places to reside permanently.”