Today’s vote urges all cities across the state to take action in support of SB 593 for the 2016 legislative session
San Jose, CA – Momentum for a bill that creates a simple solution to a growing challenge – communities being overwhelmed by issues related to online vacation rentals – is already building for 2016 within just weeks of the 2015 legislative session ending. Today, at its annual conference, the League of California Cities – the leading advocate for cities all throughout the Golden State – formally added their endorsement for SB 593 to its 2016 legislative platform.
“Home sharing helps countless Californians pay their bills and stay in their homes in the state they love, but the business of home sharing has evolved from its roots of couch-surfing. This is now a multi-billion dollar business run by giant corporations,” said Senator Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg). “Our bill is simple, all it does is make online vacation rental businesses follow local laws just like the rest of us.”
Today’s League of Cities vote solidifies that local governments are firmly behind Senator McGuire’s proposal that would give cities and counties the information they need to collect tourist taxes due to them from online vacation rental businesses.
“I am grateful to the hundreds of city leaders who took action today on this common sense solution that will put the share back in the sharing economy,” Senator McGuire said.
The premise of SB 593 is simple: it will reinforce local laws that are already on the books. Where vacation rentals are legal, the bill will assist local jurisdictions with the regulation and collection of tourist taxes. The legislation will take the burden of paying the tourist tax off of the homeowner and would require that online vacation rental platforms collect the tax at the time of checkout. This simple action will allow cities and counties to reinvest hundreds of millions of dollars into safer neighborhoods, good parks, strong public schools and smooth streets.
Where vacation rentals are illegal by local ordinance, the bill would prohibit online vacation rental businesses from making a rental in that community.
Currently, cities and counties have to fight individually with online vacation rental companies to obtain the information they need to enforce local laws and collect taxes on overnight stays. Online vacation rental businesses have been ignoring local laws for years and communities are bearing the brunt of the burden brought on by these mostly unregulated vacation rentals.
West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey Horvath has been a strong advocate for the legislation and brought it forward to the full General Assembly of the League of California Cities today. “The City of West Hollywood, along with communities across the state, supports this bill because it is a practical solution that empowers local governments to make and enforce local decisions. SB 593 prevents a one-size-doesn’t-fit-all solution from Sacramento.”
SB 593 also protects the confidentiality of vacation rental hosts and renters. The legislation mandates strict confidentiality of all rental information disclosed by online vacation rental businesses by excluding all related data from the California Public Records Act. This is the same confidentiality procedure hundreds of cities and counties have with the lodging industry across the state. Additionally, cities and counties will have the ability to opt-in to the state law in order to participate.
“We appreciate Senator McGuire’s efforts to advance SB 593. This legislation is designed to support existing city and county efforts to address land use and other issues that arise from the temporary rental of residential units, and collect the applicable transient occupancy taxes to support important local services,” said League of California Cities President and Rancho Cucamonga Mayor L. Dennis Michael.
Other supporters include: California Police Chiefs Association, California Professional Firefighters, California Alliance of Retired Americans (900,000 members strong) California State Association of Counties (representing all 58 California counties), The Rural County Representatives of California (representing rural California counties), The Association of Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs & Riverside Sheriffs Assn., California Apartment Association, Association of California Insurance Companies, California Association of Code Enforcement Officers, California Labor Federation, California Narcotic Officers Association, San Francisco Apartment Association & the San Francisco Tenants Union and many more.
Senator Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) represents Northern California’s Second Senate District.