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  • Writer's pictureEd DiMarco MS, MA

Governor DeSantis' Veto of Florida SB 280: New Vacation Rentals Law

Governor DeSantis' Veto of Florida SB 280 New Vacation Rentals Law

Governor Ron DeSantis' recent veto of SB 280 marks a significant decision that impacts Florida's vacation rental market. The bill, designed to introduce stricter regulations on vacation rentals, faced opposition due to concerns over property rights, economic impact, and the operational burden it would place on rental owners and platforms. Here's an in-depth look at the provisions of SB 280, the reasons behind its veto, and the broader implications for the industry and stakeholders.


Key Provisions of FL SB 280 on Vacation Rentals

SB 280 proposed several regulatory measures aimed at vacation rentals, including:

  1. Tax Collection and Remittance: The bill required advertising platforms and operators to collect and remit specified taxes for vacation rental transactions.

  2. Definition of Advertising Platforms: It defined advertising platforms and set requirements for these platforms to display license and registration information.

  3. Local Government Regulations: The bill allowed local governments to establish registration programs for vacation rentals and impose fees and fines for non-compliance.

  4. Inspection and Compliance: Local governments were authorized to inspect vacation rentals for compliance with building and fire codes and to suspend or revoke registrations for violations.

  5. Advertising and Listings: Platforms were required to ensure that listings included accurate and current license and registration information.


Reasons for the Veto of Senate Bill 280

Florida Realtors® and other stakeholders raised several concerns about the potential negative impacts of SB 280, leading to Governor DeSantis' decision to veto the bill:

  1. Property Rights: The bill was seen as infringing on the property rights of homeowners who wish to rent their properties on a short-term basis. It imposed stringent regulations that could limit owners' ability to manage their properties effectively.

  2. Economic Impact: SB 280 could have had a detrimental effect on Florida's economy, particularly its vital tourism sector. By imposing heavy regulatory burdens, the bill threatened to reduce the availability of vacation rentals, potentially decreasing tourist accommodations and spending.

  3. Operational Burdens: The bill placed significant administrative and financial burdens on vacation rental operators and advertising platforms, requiring them to navigate complex compliance requirements, collect and remit taxes, and face substantial fines for violations.


Advocacy and Response

Florida Realtors® played a critical role in opposing SB 280. Their advocacy efforts included a statewide Call for Action, resulting in thousands of emails and calls to the governor's office. This grassroots mobilization highlighted the bill's unintended consequences and the need for a more balanced regulatory approach.


Implications for the Future of Vacation Rentals in Florida

The veto of SB 280 presents an opportunity to revisit and refine the regulatory framework for vacation rentals in Florida. Moving forward, stakeholders must collaborate to develop solutions that balance property rights, economic interests, and community well-being. Critical considerations for future legislation may include:

  1. Balanced Regulation: Crafting regulations that protect community interests without burdening property owners and operators.

  2. Economic Sustainability: Ensuring the vacation rental market thrives, supporting Florida's tourism industry and the broader economy.

  3. Stakeholder Engagement: Involving various stakeholders, including property owners, local governments, and industry representatives, in the legislative process to ensure diverse perspectives are considered.


Governor DeSantis' veto of SB 280 reflects a commitment to protecting property rights and supporting Florida's economic health. While the bill's provisions addressed legitimate concerns about vacation rentals, the broad and stringent measures proposed necessitated a reevaluation. Moving forward, a collaborative and balanced approach will be essential in crafting regulations that support responsible vacation rental practices while safeguarding the interests of homeowners, communities, and the state's economy.


FAQ on Governor DeSantis' Veto of SB 280: Vacation Rentals


1. What is Florida Senate Bill 280?

SB 280 was passed by the Florida Legislature to regulate vacation rentals by introducing new tax collection, registration, and compliance requirements for property owners and advertising platforms.

2. Why did Governor DeSantis veto SB 280?

Governor DeSantis vetoed SB 280 due to concerns about property rights, potential negative impacts on Florida's economy, and the operational burdens it would place on vacation rental owners and advertising platforms.

3. How would SB 280 have affected property rights?

SB 280 was seen as infringing on homeowners' property rights by imposing stringent regulations that could limit their ability to rent their properties on a short-term basis.

4. What economic impacts were associated with SB 280?

The bill was expected to reduce the availability of vacation rentals, potentially decreasing tourist accommodations and spending, which are vital to Florida's economy.

5. What were the main operational burdens of SB 280?

The bill required vacation rental operators and advertising platforms to navigate complex compliance requirements, collect and remit taxes, and face substantial fines for violations, increasing administrative and financial burdens.

6. What role did Florida Realtors® play in the veto of SB 280?

Florida Realtors® actively opposed SB 280, launching a statewide Call for Action that resulted in thousands of emails and calls to the governor's office, highlighting the bill's unintended consequences.

7. How did SB 280 propose to regulate advertising platforms?

SB 280 defined advertising platforms and required them to display license and registration information, collect and remit taxes, and ensure listings included accurate and current information.

8. What were the tax collection requirements in SB 280?

The bill required advertising platforms and operators to collect and remit specified taxes for vacation rental transactions, ensuring compliance with state tax laws.

9. How would SB 280 have impacted local government regulations?

The bill allowed local governments to establish registration programs for vacation rentals, impose fees and fines, and inspect properties for compliance with building and fire codes.

10. What fines and penalties were included in SB 280?

SB 280 authorized local governments to impose fines of up to $500 for non-compliance with registration requirements and to suspend or revoke registrations for repeated violations.

11. How did stakeholders respond to SB 280?

Stakeholders, including Florida Realtors®, voiced significant concerns about the bill's potential impact on property rights and the economy, leading to widespread opposition.

12. What is the significance of the veto for Florida's tourism industry?

The veto helps ensure the continued availability of vacation rentals, which are crucial for accommodating tourists and supporting Florida's tourism industry.

13. How can future legislation address the concerns raised by SB 280?

Future legislation should aim for balanced regulation that protects community interests without unduly burdening property owners and supports the economic sustainability of the vacation rental market.

14. What alternatives to SB 280 could be considered?

Alternatives could include more targeted regulations focusing on specific issues, increased stakeholder engagement, and a phased approach to implementation to allow for adjustments based on feedback.

15. How did the legislative process for SB 280 unfold?

SB 280 was narrowly passed by the Florida Legislature on March 7, 2024. Close votes in both the House and Senate reflected significant concerns among lawmakers.

16. What were some specific concerns raised about SB 280?

Concerns included the bill's potential to act as a punitive tax on rental owners, the undefined nature of violations leading to suspensions, and the legal burdens of appealing disciplinary actions.

17. What are the next steps for stakeholders following the veto of SB 280?

Stakeholders will likely collaborate to develop new solutions for future legislative proposals that balance property rights, community interests, and economic considerations.

18. How will the veto of SB 280 affect local governments?

Local governments will continue to have the authority to regulate vacation rentals within their jurisdictions, but they will need to consider the broader implications and work towards more balanced regulations.

19. How does the veto impact property owners and vacation rental operators?

The veto relieves property owners and operators, allowing them to continue renting their properties without facing the stringent regulations and operational burdens proposed by SB 280.

20. How does the veto align with Governor DeSantis' broader policy goals?

The veto aligns with Governor DeSantis' commitment to protecting property rights, supporting Florida's economy, and ensuring that regulations do not impose undue burdens on individuals and businesses.


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