If legislation introduced earlier this year by Rep. Matt Dollar is approved by the Georgia Legislature, local governments within the state would not be able to ban short-term rental services like Airbnb.
Rep. Dollar filed the bill to prevent these businesses from being regulated to death and also to establish a statewide framework for how this rapidly growing industry should operate. While opponents of Airbnb have expressed concerns that renters are attempting to operate pseudo-hotels without paying the taxes or following the regulations that hotels are subject to, Airbnb has said that officials are working with local jurisdictions to make sure renters pay taxes on their income from rentals. The company is also open to charging the $5-per-night hotel fee that Georgia charges.
This legislation would repeal the restrictions Savannah has in place currently on short-term rentals, such as only allowing them in certain parts of the city and mandating that no more than 20 percent of them in certain areas (like the historic district) are available for rent at the same time.
Rep. Dollar will take input on this measure by the end of 2017.