(This article originally appeared in News4Jax on February 7, 2018)
A new Mason-Dixon poll shows almost 3 out of 4 registered Florida voters believe Floridians should be able to rent out their primary residence to vacationers on a short-term basis.
“Taxpaying, law-abiding property owners have the right to rent out their home, regardless of whether it is on a short-term or long-term basis, and should not have to fear retribution from their local governments for exercising that right," said Caroline Joiner, TechNet's executive director for the Southeast.
TechNet, a national, bipartisan network of innovation economy CEOs and senior executives, released the poll Wednesday, showing an overwhelming support.
“Vacation rentals have existed in Florida for decades and have become a vital part of the tourism economy," Joiner said. "This latest research shows Floridians recognize the value of vacation rentals and want them to continue to thrive in the state and be fairly and consistently regulated.”
The poll also shows statewide, 61 percent of Floridians would like regulations for vacation rentals to be consistent throughout the state.
North Floridians seemed to agree the most, with 78 percent of voters supporting their right to rent out their primary home when they're out of town.
Even more so, 80 percent of voters in North Florida believe their secondary home should be accessible to vacationers as a vacation rental.
“Floridians are sending a clear message to Florida’s policymakers to embrace the economic opportunities afforded by vacation rentals and provide clear and consistent statewide standards,” Joiner said.
Economic activity in Florida has been fueled by the growth of online platforms that empower property owners to rent out their homes and apartments.
In a 2013 study, the Florida Vacation Rental Management Association said it found vacation rentals infused more than $31.1 billion into the state's economy.
In North Florida, 69 percent of voters agreed vacation rentals are important to the state's economy.
Of the voters, 41 percent were of the Democratic Party, 39 percent were of the Republican party, and 20 percent were independent.
A total of 625 registered voters were interviewed by telephone from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1.