SB 197 is crucial for Arkansas’s tourism—and property rights

  • Post category:Housing

Arkansas is a hidden gem. Tens of millions of people visit our state each year to explore our hot springs, hike our beautiful trails, or float down our rivers. Others visit our cities to take in our culture and history. And when they do these things, they all need somewhere to stay.

Short-term rentals—or home rentals in residential areas—are more popular than ever. They’re a key part of tourism, especially in Arkansas. They not only offer more lodging options for tourists, but they also allow property owners to make some extra cash by opening up their property for a short period of time to renters.

The Opportunity Solutions Project strongly supports SB 197 by Sen. Joshua Bryant and Rep. Brit McKenzie, which would prohibit local governments from implementing restrictions on regulating short term rentals. This bill would essentially protect the right of property owners to use their property as they see fit, especially if that includes offering their property as a short-term rental.

Here’s why we support SB 197…

  • It protects the rights of property owners to use their property without intrusion from government restriction. The bill would prohibit local governments from implementing stringent regulations that keep property owners from offering their homes as short-term rentals.
  • It’s a key component to Arkansas’s tourism industry. Short-term rentals benefit our tourism industry and our millions of visitors, welcoming more people to our cities and towns—it’s an economic win-win.
  • Short-term rentals are not shown to increase noise or nuisances in neighborhoods. Studies show (here and here) that rentals like this do not have much impact on neighborhoods, and this bill treats them as any other “residential use” property.

In summary, short-term rentals can bring immense economic opportunity to our state. We support this bill and encourage the Arkansas Senate to pass it.