Airbnb has spent at least $1,250,000 to prevent local regulation of Florida rental properties

click to enlarge A seven-bedroom home on E. Livingston Street, listed for $900,000 as an "income property" - PHOTO BY DAVE PLOTKIN
Photo by Dave Plotkin
A seven-bedroom home on E. Livingston Street, listed for $900,000 as an "income property"
With state lawmakers preparing to wade into a debate about vacation rental properties, Airbnb, Inc., last month sent $250,000 to a Florida political committee, a newly filed finance report shows.

The contribution went to a political committee known as “People versus the Powerful.” The committee had received only one other contribution, a $1 million infusion in 2017 from Airbnb.

People versus the Powerful also spent $60,508 in December, with the largest amount, $10,000, going to the Jobs for Florida political committee, which is chaired by incoming Senate President Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby. Other expenditures included $5,000 to the Republican Party of Florida; $5,000 to the Advancing Florida Agriculture political committee, which is chaired by Sen. Ben Albritton, R-Wauchula; and $5,000 to the Friends of Ray Rodrigues political committee, which is chaired by Rep. Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero.

Lawmakers are expected during the upcoming legislative session to consider controversial proposals (SB 1128 and HB 1011) that seek to prevent local regulation of vacation rental properties. The Senate bill (SB 1128), filed by Sen. Manny Diaz Jr., R-Hialeah, is scheduled to be considered Monday by the Senate Innovation, Industry and Technology Committee. The 60-day legislative session starts Tuesday.

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