Airbnb Proposes New Tax and Hotline
Last week, the New York Environmental Control Board reversed the fines (totaling $2,400) imposed on Airbnb host Warren Nigel for violating New York City's short-term rental laws--a big win for the company which often finds itself fighting regulations.
Now--it what seems like a spirit of compromise--Airbnb has proposed implementing company policies that might help diffuse tensions with city regulators in the future, according to a post on the company’s blog.
Brian Chesky, Airbnb co-founder and CEO, outlined the proposals in the post:
On behalf of our New York City community, we want to work for sensible laws that allow New Yorkers to share their space, earn extra income, and pursue their American Dream. And we want to work with New York to pass laws that meet three fundamental principles:
1.We believe regular people renting out their own homes should be able to do so, and we need a new law that makes this clear.
2.Our hosts are not hotels, but we believe that it makes sense for our community to pay occupancy tax, with limited exemptions for those who earn under certain thresholds. We would like to assist New York City in streamlining this process so that it is not onerous.
3.We are eager to work with New York to remove bad actors in our community that are causing a disturbance to their neighbors, and will create a 24/7 Neighbor Hotline where we will service the complaints.
The company, founded in 2008, allows members of its community to list and rent accommodations in over 33,000 cities around the world. Like many other start-ups in this new sharing economy (think Uber), Airbnb experienced some push back from cities that believe the start-up violates rental and tax regulations. This proposal is not the start-up's first move to improve its image, the company also named Chip Conley head of Global Hospitality last month, reports Businessweek.