R Street urges Austin City Council not to hinder the tourism economy
AUSTIN, Tex. (Sept. 15, 2015) – The R Street Institute today expressed deep concern about proposed regulations currently before the Austin City Council that would restrict short-term rentals in the city.
On the agenda at today’s Planning and Neighborhoods Committee meeting are restrictions that would require homeowners to register with the city before they can rent out space in their homes, as well as to undergo inspections and even take out commercial insurance policies. The proposed amendments also limit the number of renters per house.
“These new regulations could have a devastating effect on Austin’s thriving short-term-rental market,” said Josiah Neeley, R Street’s Texas state director. “Austin is particularly dependent on short-term rentals because of the large number of festival attendees. These rentals are estimated to add $234 million annually to the local economy.”
“This new proposal is overly broad and threatens to shut many Austin homeowners out of this important part of the city’s economy,” he said. “R Street continues to encourage policymakers to pursue common sense, light-touch regulations that foster innovation while protecting the public interest.”
The council is expected to vote on the proposed regulations as early as Thursday.