Short-term rental bill advances

The Legislature gave first-round approval Feb. 1 to a bill that would prevent a municipality from banning Airbnb or other short-term rental companies from operating in Nebraska.

Sen. Adam Morfeld
Sen. Adam Morfeld

Sen. Adam Morfeld of Lincoln said he introduced LB57 to prevent bans on short-term rentals, defined as 30 or fewer days. Municipalities could still regulate short-term rental properties for health and safety reasons, and the bill would not affect regulation of homeowners’ associations.

LB57 also would authorize an online hosting platform to enter into an agreement with the state tax commissioner to collect and pay applicable sales taxes imposed under Nebraska law on behalf of short-term renters.

“It also is an important addition to our efforts to expand and promote tourism in Nebraska, and a service that many people, both young and old, have come to expect,” Morfeld said.

Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha raised concerns about potential invasions of privacy. He said he has read stories of homeowners installing cameras, “to secretly spy on and film” people who use short-term rentals.

Chambers said he was willing to work with lawmakers on his concerns before select file debate on the bill.

Senators voted 29-1 to advance LB57 to select file.

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