Florida battle escalates over Airbnb.

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TALLAHASSEE — A persistently contentious debate about regulating vacation rentals has escalated into a clash between two powerful industry groups after the Florida Legislature passed a measure that would significantly restrict how local governments can oversee the properties.

The bill, finalized in the waning days of the 2024 legislative session, has drawn intense opposition from vacation-rental management companies, coastal community leaders and Florida Realtors, an influential real-estate industry group that is urging Gov. Ron DeSantis to veto the measure.

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“The bill fails to strike a fair balance between the rights of private property owners to rent their property on a short-term basis and the ability of local governments to regulate these rentals,” a website set up by Florida Realtors says. The website allows visitors to submit emails detailing complaints about the bill directly to the governor’s office.

Meanwhile, the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, also a politically prominent industry group, has enlisted its members and is appealing to the governor to sign the bill (SB 280), which was a priority of Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples.

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