Thursday's HOT MIC
Me last night:
The Onion today:
It's Amazon's world, we're just ordering our lives in it.
Violations of this city’s restrictive short-term rental law can result in fines of $20,000 or more, the highest such penalties in the United States.
Short-term rentals -- defined by Miami Beach code as anythingless than six months and one day -- are forbidden in the city’s single-family homes. Even in pockets of the city where short-term rentals are allowed, the approval process is onerous and burdensome, and comes with a separate penalty structure.
In Florida the maximum fine for a first-time drunk driving conviction is $1,000. A short-term rental in a single-family home in Miami Beach brings a fine twenty times higher.
Drunk drivers merely have the potential to kill people and/or ruin lives. Homeowners who provide short-term rentals, however, are committing the cardinal sin of cutting a bureaucracy out of a potential revenue stream.
Obviously, if one has HOA rules to abide by that's one thing. If, however, one owns a house, this is a massive intrusion on freedom and privacy. We can play the slippery slope game here -- what if the local authorities decide to tell you which people, or how many of them, you can host free of charge in your home? That may seem outlandish, but the dystopian future stuff has a creepy way of manifesting itself lately.
What if you have a house guest who stays for a week and offers you money to offset the cost of food? The short-term rental penalty mentality people probably wouldn't have a problem trying to tax or penalize you for that.
Like most governmental regulatory efforts, this is insidious. It is also short-sighted. Why do anything that might discourage tourists from spending money in your city? The municipalities may not be getting a cut of the rental fees but they will get all of that consumption tax revenue.