By Heather Curry
March 8, 2019
Today, Governor Pete Ricketts signed Legislative Bill 57, joining the Nebraska legislature to protect the private property rights of Cornhuskers statewide. LB 57 allows responsible homeowners to offer their homes to visitors as short-term rentals and is a welcome development for Nebraskans who rely on home-sharing income to pay bills. Alongside the Platte Institute, a diverse coalition of individuals and groups, including the Goldwater Institute, submitted testimony on behalf of the bill, demonstrating the real-world impact of LB 57. Policymakers expressed overwhelming support for the bill, approving it on a vote of 46-0.
Home-sharing lowers prices and increases options for visitors, provides supplemental income for home-owners, and drives revenue to local economies. While some cities have acted to restrict the practice, legislators in Lincoln have chosen to embrace the economic opportunity that comes with home-sharing. To accomplish this, LB 57 prohibits local governments from banning home-sharing. Communities are able to regulate legitimate health and safety concerns related to short-term rentals but may not discriminate against vacation rentals. LB 57 recognizes that short-term rentals are inherently residential and that home-owners have inviolable rights when it comes to the use of their property.
Two years ago, Arizona passed landmark legislation to protect home-sharing and Nebraska is the latest state to support this important effort. This session, a number of states are considering legislation similar to LB 57. Policymakers across the country are acting to protect the individual rights of Americans while ensuring that local authorities are free to focus on their most important goal: protecting quiet, clean, and safe neighborhoods.
With Governor Ricketts’ signature, Nebraska has helped to set the standard for reasonable and effective home-sharing policy. This is an exciting victory for home-sharers and travelers alike.