Letter of Support for Legislative Bill 756
Dear Chairman Wayne and members of the Urban Affairs Committee,
I am writing to express the Platte Institute’s support for Sen. Morfeld’s Legislative Bill 756, “Prohibit ordinances prohibiting certain short-term rentals of residential property.”
An outright ban on homeowners using their own property to earn income by providing a short-term residential rental—also known as home-sharing—should not be on the list of policy options available to cities and villages.
Legislative Bill 756 is wisely drafted to protect the opportunity for home-sharing statewide, while retaining the ability of local governments to establish regulations for the specific purposes of public health and safety. Legitimate concerns for the public welfare are, ultimately, the only true justifications for regulations on home-sharing.
Nearly any time legislators propose that a new form of entrepreneurship no longer be prohibited by law, it can be expected that other, similar businesses or government entities that regulate the profession will oppose the less restrictive regulations.
As we have seen in previous years in creating Nebraska’s regulatory framework for ridesharing, and in the City of Lincoln, which effectively bans food trucks from city streets, often, ordinances and laws are written with the intention of restricting honest competition in the marketplace.
The concept of local control should never be construed as a blank check to violate the economic freedoms of Nebraskans or to favor some established businesses over others.
In addition to existing city and village ordinances for nuisances and parking, there are also marketplace mechanisms in place for residents who are concerned about short-term residential rentals. They can choose to live in a community that has a Home Owners Association that prohibits home-sharing under contract, and LB 756 protects this right.
The Platte Institute commends Sen. Morfeld for introducing this legislation. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions the committee may have.
Director of Government Relations