Airbnb bill advances in House committee

By Kirsten Nielsen
TheStatehouseFile.com

 INDIANAPOLIS – One lawmaker is making a second attempt to stop local municipalities from banning short-term Airbnb-style rentals.

The House Government and Regulatory Reform committee unanimously passed House Bill 1035 Tuesday by a 12-0 vote.

Rep. Matt Lehman, R-Berne, said he authored the bill with the hope of keeping money in the pockets of Hoosiers. Last year, a similar bill authored by Lehman died in the final hours of the legislative session after failing to gain support from fellow lawmakers.

The bill later went to a summer study committee.

“Number one is they saw where there is a strong increasing demand for this platform,” Lehman said. “Airbnb had 175,000 people come into Indiana last year, and that’s a 108 percent increase over last year.”

Lehman said Hoosiers should be allowed to use their property how they choose, whether it be for personal residency or rental.

A similar bill is pending in the Senate. Several people voiced their support for HB 1035 in the committee hearing Tuesday.

Joni Reeves, a realtor and Airbnb hostess, said Airbnb connects diverse groups of people and provides an additional income. She said the revenue has helped her pay for previous medical bills.

Kirsten Nielsen is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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