Indiana lawmakers could ban cities from regulating short-term rentals

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("Airbnb Office" by Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine, Public Domain)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana lawmakers are wading into the parochial matters of property rights and zoning issues as they consider a bill to prohibit local governments from regulating short-term rentals through online companies such as Airbnb.

Small government Republicans often talk about the virtue of local government control. But the measure is just the latest example of Indiana’s GOP majority taking up legislation that would tie the hands of local governments.

Supporters say the bill is needed to stop knee-jerk regulations being placed on an emerging and innovative market.

But opponents say local governments should be able to decide if people can turn their home into a for-profit business that could inconvenience neighbors.

The measure was approved by a Senate panel on Wednesday and previously cleared the House.

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