SC House Bill would ban cities from banning short-term rentals such as Airbnb | Colombia News

COLUMBIA – A state bill would make it illegal for cities and towns to ban short-term rentals, a bill that city advocates say is currently a no-hassle solution.

Under the bill, local governments would be prohibited from creating rules prohibiting the rental of residential accommodation to a short-term guest, rentals advertised on popular sites such as Airbnb and Vrbo.

The bill was pre-tabled in November for possible consideration in the next legislative session and sponsored by Rep. Lee Hewitt, R-Murrells Inlet; Representative Melissa Oremus, R-Aiken; and Lin Bennett, R-Charleston.

Local governments that break the rules would not be able to collect property tax at the highest commercial rate of 6% for short-term rental properties and would not be eligible to receive money from the Governments Fund. state premises and other state aid.

Landowners prevented from operating a short-term rental would only be subject to the 4% property tax rate for a primary residence, even if the property was used as a second home or long-term rental, Hewitt said.

“You’ve taken some property rights away from that person, then they have to be compensated and treated the same as other properties,” Hewitt said.

As more cities have considered and adopted regulations for short-term rentals, none in South Carolina is known to have banned the practice outright, said Scott Slatton, director of advocacy and communications for the leasing company. ‘South Carolina Municipal Association. The nonprofit that lobbies lawmakers on behalf of cities across the state does not oppose the bill as drafted, Slatton said. That could change if the bill were rewritten to prevent the regulation of rentals, Slatton noted.

“This is just one of many bills that seek to infringe on local authority and, as a matter of principle, these are things that we will generally oppose because local officials know best how to solve problems in the area. their communities, ”Slatton said.

Cities statewide have considered and implemented short-term rental rules, as sites like Airbnb and Vrbo have grown in popularity. It’s not just in typical tourist areas. Slatton noted that people across the state might be surprised if they searched for rentals in their city – rentals geared towards football fans or business or government travelers in the capital to more rural areas of the city. State.

Lexington County Considering Restrictions On Short-Term Vacation Rentals

In Greenville, short-term rentals are prohibited in certain residential areas, except for specific zoning exceptions.

Mount Pleasant has capped the number of short-term rental units at 1% of all residential units in the city.

The Town of Folly Beach has a penalty of four warnings over a six month period that could result in the rental owner’s license being revoked if it breaks too many rules.

Many jurisdictions have similar guidelines in place requiring registration, someone available locally to address property issues, and parking and occupancy requirements.

Hewitt conceded that his Georgetown County home currently has no such restrictions in place or proposed. He said the concern is that governments will consider such rules as more people move to the coast or by property there to operate as rentals.

“You just say, ‘Hey, guys, that’s good. If you want to do it, you can do it. But here are the consequences if you do,’” Hewitt said.

North Charleston reflects on its first short-term rental regulations

To reach Stephane Fastenau at 803-365-3235. Follow him on Twitter @StephenFastenau.

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