News Clips

The Palm Beach Post

PBC to crack down on Airbnb rentals, looking for bed tax scofflaws

Palm Beach County residents who rent out homes, apartments or rooms through Airbnb and HomeAway will soon be monitored to assure they are properly registered to collect bed taxes. In an agreement that ends one of several lawsuits between Palm Beach County Tax Collector Anne Gannon and the vacation rental websites, both sides on Monday agreed to make sure the thousands of county residents who are renting out private homes are using proper tax identification numbers. Those who aren’t won’t be able to use the platforms to generate extra cash, according to the settlement that brings an end to a federal lawsuit.


Next House speaker tackles spending, climate change

Moments after he was formally elected Tuesday to serve as Florida’s next House speaker, Palm Harbor Republican Chris Sprowls waded into issues such as bolstering the state’s finances and addressing climate change. And he made clear he doesn’t think much of social media and the goings-on in Washington, D.C. Sprowls, a 35-year-old attorney, will succeed Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, after the November 2020 elections and will hold one of the most-powerful political jobs in Florida. He has long been positioned to become the next speaker, a move that was finalized Tuesday with a voice vote by House Republicans, who hold an overwhelming majority in the chamber.

Sunshine State News

DeSantis Will Push 2020 Legislature to Toughen Fines for Municipal Sewage-Spillers

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will ask the Legislature in 2020 to raise the state’s $10,000 fine for spilling sewage into waterways by 50 percent == a measure aimed at municipalities, since most sewage treatment plants are owned and operated by local governments. He will also request lawmakers give the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) the capacity to levy daily fines after the initial $15,000 penalty until the issue has been remedied because, he said, “Right now, it’s a slap on the wrist and move on.” That, DeSantis said last week during a press conference in Naples, would give the penalties some “bite.”