Short term rentals back on the docket in Lansing


State lawmakers led by Representative Joey Andrews are preparing to reintroduce a bill shaping statewide short term rental regulations this month.

Berrien County’s elected leaders have been keeping a wary eye on the legislation — several times in recent years vocally opposing state control or regulation over the proliferate and popular vacation options.

In an update to the Berrien County Board of Commissioners Thursday, the county’s consultant, Mike Krombeen of Midwest Strategies said the legislation is about to be reintroduced and likely to see a lengthy debate.

“It essentially would register the platforms, the Airbnbs, the VRBOs. It would create a six-percent excise tax on short term rentals that would then fund a state registry of all of the short term rentals in the state so that local units of governments could sort of see what’s being rented and how many days in their communities.”

Representative Andrews confirms the reintroduction timing is likely to be in the next couple of weeks. He says the current version would not amend the Michigan Zoning Enabling act to force cities or townships to allow short term rentals.

“We wanted to approach this from the perspective of, you know, what’s good for our local governments and our municipalities. So ours really tries to enshrine local control, uh, as much as possible.”

Andrews says the problem he’s seeking to address is making sure communities have a way to contain short-term rentals.

“More than anything, the short term rentals put a burden on local government for regulation and the public safety and infrastructure that they make use of. And so what we’re trying to do is help our communities regulate these things and enforce their regulations.”

Andrews says expect the bill introduction in the next couple of weeks and he’s hopeful it can be approved by the legislature this year.