Bronson vetoes Anchorage Assembly’s new short-term rental registration law; override is likely

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The Anchorage Assembly passed legislation on Tuesday that creates more regulation for Anchorage homeowners, by way of requiring them to register and be monitored by the municipality if they want to have a short-term rental.

On Wednesday, Mayor Dave Bronson vetoed the ordinance, AO 2023-110.

In the veto explanation, Bronson said, “the Anchorage Assembly should not be meddling in an individual property owners’ ability to make a living for themselves and their families. Private property owners deserve to continue to be able to provide valuable housing offerings within the municipality on AirBnB, VRBO, and other outlets.”

The mayor’s full veto message can be read here. It is all but certain the Assembly will override his veto.

Many communities around the country are moving toward greater regulation of short-term rentals, further encroaching on private property rights. In the Alaska Legislature, Rep. Andrew Gray is trying to get his bill passed that would limit Alaskans to being able to own only one short-term rental. Libertarians, such as the Cato Institute, warn that Americans’ basic freedoms are being eroded by these new laws and regulations.

“A goal of this ordinance is to safeguard the renter, the property and neighborhood value,” said ordinance co-sponsor Assembly Member Randy Sulte. “Currently, neighbors of short-term rentals have little recourse for dealing with problem properties. This ordinance puts into place a system to enforce existing public safety requirements and require short-term rental owners respond to problems in a timely manner.”

Ordinance co-sponsor and Assembly Vice Chairwoman Meg Zaletel added, “our community is in the midst of a housing crisis and we simply don’t have the data to understand how short-term rentals are effecting our housing market. This program will give us data that is currently held tightly by the rental platforms to make informed decisions in the future.”

The new licensing program applies to property owners who rent out units for less than 30-day increments; the license fee — $200 to $400 — is waived for deployed military, operators who rent for less than 15 rental days per year, owners who live on site or a neighboring property as their primary residence, and short-term rentals that also rent long term for more than 180 days per year.

The ordinance requires a minimum of $500,000 insurance, waived if the renting entity already has it covered through the rental platform (VRBO or Airbnb, for example).

The ordinance requires a manager to be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or an alternate person who can respond to the renters’ call. The owner and guests must, the ordinance spells out, abide by all municipal codes, as they would in any case without this new ordinance.

26 COMMENTS

  1. Loosely translated: we want more money, more control, and more regulations.

    Pay up, paypigs.

  2. Well done Mayor. People are sick and tired of having a boot on their necks at every turn🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

    • Maybe ALL HOMEOWNERS will finally get off their duff and VOTE OUT these evil Assembly “members”…. Talk about conflicts of interest with sulte, meg, felix, et al.
      Chris constant complaining misrepresents me and will continue with his harassment of we the people and approve all this mean-spirited legislation, after all, isnt he the main deceiver?
      .
      Chris Constant hates us and continues using lawfare like this against we the homeowners, citizens, stakeholders in our once great city.

  3. Until these Assembly members are replaced they will continue to Nickle and dime all residents until the voters take action or Anchorage loses more citizens. I see Anchorage could be displaced as the largest area in the State by the MAT-SU in 5-10 years. I know when I retire in the next two years I will move out of the muni.

    • He is in THE MAJORITY ASSEMBLY’s way, Chris Constant, complaining is the devious mastermind using lawfare to take over our once great city against our duly elected mayor, no less.

    • He is in the way?
      Good.
      I want my government to be unable to move freely. The more in the way, the more the various branches fight each other, the more the individuals fight, the better it is for the people as a whole.
      .
      I am old enough to remember what happened to people who were in Stalin’s way. Those that were in Pol Pot’s way got destroyed. Castro’s opponents were slaughtered or imprisoned. They were in the way.
      .
      It is a very immature perspective to think that your ideas are the right ones, and anyone who disagrees is the problem. Toddlers think like that. Not rational adults.

  4. The Mayor should repurpose that beautiful room that the Assembly uses and find them some much less posh digs. Something like the back room at Beans or an available Mountain View school cafeteria in the evenings, portable mic and all.

  5. Good job mayor too bad the assembly who doesn’t know how a city runs is going to vote for more taxes.
    Anchorage be careful as mayor Bronson is the only candidate who is against a sales tax.
    The only way to get a sales tax should be if property taxes are ended so we would truly own our property.
    Most people don’t know that when your mortgage is paid off, the city keeps your title for leverage to pay your taxes so you never really own your home because you don’t get the title the city does.

  6. The MOA should be paying me for the amount of bed taxes I have paid to MOA treasury over the last 10 years.
    I knew this was inevitable, therefore I already planned on closing up shop May 1st..

  7. The assembly’s actions were yet another blow to small businesses and was nothing more than about power and control.

    • Anchorage is becoming a white chalk outline of its once great self.
      The ASSEMBLY MISREPRESENTATIVES are wholly responsible for our demise, one Tuesday ordinance at a time…. LAWFARE

  8. While I disagree with the ordinance. I do agree that something needs to be done to protect neighbors, neighborhoods, communities and adjacent property owners from the often disruptive and disrespectful actions of individuals who rent short-term properties through airbnb and vrbo. I lived next door to a short-term rental property until recently and was often dealing with damage to my personal property, rude, disrespectful and disruptive individuals who rented the property. Oftentimes it was like living next door to “Grand Central Station” with individuals coming and going at all hours of the day and night, as well as vehicles parked up and down the street, sometimes illegally. I have owned and lived in my house for 26 years and can honestly say that the airbnb and vrbo rental time was the worst neighbors I have ever dealt with. So, long story short… something needs to be done to control the situation.

    • An honest question: Did you ever contact the owner about his customers’ discourteous ways?
      We already have nuisance ordinances, if our police have time to enforce them, that’s a different story.

    • You must live in Girdwod, where the complaints seem to be focused, due to a few out of state operators that rent out party houses. This is also the city, within the MOA, where there is no law enforcement because the property owners don’t wish to pay for it.

    • It’s not just short-term rentals. I live across the street from a rental and the tenants are awful. Their driveway is full of derelict vehicles so they park the cars that are actually driveable on the street (which is not by itself a problem, but the way they park them – particularly in the winter – clogs everything up), they let their dog run loose and I’m pretty sure they put their excess trash in my bins. I’m certainly not saying that property owners should have the right to rent out their houses, just pointing out that short-term rentals don’t have a monopoly on being annoying neighbors.

      And for those who say “Why don’t you complain to the landlord?”, it would be obvious who the complaint came from so then I’ll just end up with a target on my back.

  9. Total money grab and the beginnings of shutting down short term rentals. I just checked on AirbnbDNA and found there are 1236 active short term rentals in the Anchorage market. I could find out more if I wanted to pay for a basic subscription. They could also check with their own Treasury Department and find out this same info – each of these pay the 12% bed tax. If you want to find out how my units are performing and if my guests are happy, look at my reviews……

  10. I guess I don’t understand. The vote was 7-5, but they’re going to override? Solely to stick it to Bronson? Are they that scared of the head commies? But Constant was one of the opposing votes wasn’t he? I suppose they want to override one last time before the election.

  11. What do you mean override is likely? It is guaranteed.
    .
    Leftists are nothing but control freaks. They will expend no end of your money or time so they look good.
    And, it is because they are “looking out for the common good.” Which, for some reason, only they are allowed to define, the public testimony be damned.

  12. Just the first step to stripping property rights from individual owners. There’s further legislation being introduced by a few former assembly members now in state government. It’s part of a broader movement to move in large corporations, like in California, to take over the housing rental market and do their own price fixing. Eliminating the B&B is a goal of the corporate hotel industry, whose price fixing has made the B&B business so successful. Ironically, many local hotels have investors deaply intrenched with the the local assembly members. Once again, follow the money. Military and retired landowners ,among others , will not be able to rent their homes in order to help them pay their mortgages due to required absences or just to supplement their ability to pay their mortgages, especially with increased property taxes. The local government should not be able to dictate the terms of a private home rental. If it is being rented by irresponsible parties, then it would not beneficial by the homeowner. And local law enforcement would be available if it were being used by locals as a party house. Except in Girdwood, where they have chosen not to pay for the services of APD. So the excuse for this ordinance is based on this area, not the rest of us. I am thankful for the mayor’s veto and maybe he needs some support from the community to stop an override, which is inevitable by the assembly. Otherwise, we all stand to lose our property rights in the long run, to special interest groups. It was made to look innocent enough, but opens the door to government overreach. If you are like myself, you probably have chosen not to attend the assembly meetings since this group took over, but now is the time for community action and our voices must be heard.

  13. Until you vote these vultures out of office they will control you and put their heels on you neck.

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