- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 1, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - Gov. Doug Ducey met with local Airbnb hosts and corporate executives Wednesday to celebrate a new law that will make it easier for the state to gather home-sharing rental taxes while blocking cities from banning short-term rentals on lodging websites.

As cities like Chicago seek to clamp down on the rentals, Ducey said the new law will improve Arizona’s reputation and serve as a model for other states.

“I really believe this is a win for Arizona to maintain our competitive edge over the sharing economy,” he said during the event held at a historic home in Phoenix. Ducey signed the measure last month and it goes into effect in August.

Vacation rental website executives from Airbnb and HomeAway met with the governor, local hosts and lawmakers to hail the law as a historic moment that will bolster state tourism and put more money in the pockets of homeowners.

Airbnb host and homeowner Ed Newhall said the bill supports his business and helps him to carry on the legacy of his parents who first ran a bed and breakfast out of his 87-year old home.

The proposal undermines ordinances in tourism-driven locales like Scottsdale, Sedona and Jerome that prevent residents from using online booking companies to rent out their properties to visitors for a few days at a time.

It also allows Airbnb and similar websites to collect taxes on behalf of renters and turn them over to the state to be divided up for municipalities.

The proposal was one of several bills pushed through during Arizona’s recent legislative session designed to usurp municipal authority to regulate things like employee benefits, plastic shopping bags, pet stores and drones.

Patrice Kraus, who lobbies for the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, said the bill was a compromise that still allows cities to pass ordinances related to noise and nuisance issues.

“The reality is this business is here to stay,” she said.

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