JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A bill built to protect vacation home rentals in Missouri is one step closer to a vote. A Lake-area legislator says that’s a good thing, but some residents are worried the bill will invite regulation that could kill nightly home rentals.

The substitute bill for HB 608 was passed unanimously (12-0) by the Missouri House General Laws Committee late Tuesday afternoon. HB 608 is sponsored by Missouri State House Representative Sonya Anderson, District 131. The next step for the bill is the Rules Committee, and then it can be brought to the House floor for debate.

Missouri State Representative District 124 Rocky Miller, who represents part of the Lake of the Ozarks area, is a co-sponsor of HB 608.

“As it stands now, the only thing HB 608 does is prohibit political subdivisions from outlawing nightly rentals,” Miller commented in an interview on Tuesday. “That is all. There has been a lot of misinformation with people trying to stop the bill. That is sad, because this is the only protection we have for that industry.” 

Miller added that he expected the activities of HB 608 opponents to kill the bill in committee.

When asked if the bill would allow political subdivisions to regulate nightly rentals or require nightly rentals to obtain a business license he replied, “That is not true. If it did require a business license, I would withdraw my support.”

He ended by saying, “I hope HB 608 goes through as written to allow us to have some protection. But I am not very optimistic. They have thrown enough mud and it’s easy to kill a bill. This protection is really important to that part of our economy.”

Opponents of the bill say its wording is vague and could give the government a license that it does not currently have to legally regulate and ban homes used as rentals to short term guests. They say the bill for the first time ever will define nightly-rentals and give authority to political subdivisions to enact regulations, impose fees and ban them with no limitations until April 1, 2018.