Who we are, what we stand for

About Brian Chesky

Last week, our community got some great news in New York when an appeals board reversed a fine against Airbnb host Nigel Warren. The decision was great not just for Nigel, but for the 225,000 Airbnb community members in New York.

In the wake of this victory, I received a plethora of questions about Airbnb and New York. I want to take this opportunity to tell everyone a little more about who our community is, what we stand for, and how Airbnb and New York can work together to make this great city even stronger.

If you want to understand Airbnb, you have to understand our beginnings. Our story started with a problem that those struggling financially know well. In October of 2007, my roommate Joe Gebbia and I were living in a San Francisco apartment, and we couldn’t afford rent. That weekend, an international design conference was coming to town, and all of the hotels were sold out. So we had an idea: why not turn our place into a bed and breakfast for the conference? We inflated air beds and called it the AirBed & Breakfast.

From that first airbed, Airbnb grew person to person, block by block, city by city. Today, our community is in 34,000 cities in 192 countries. This idea is about much more than just making ends meet. At Airbnb, we are creating a door to an open world—where everyone’s at home and can belong, anywhere.

This is not a new idea. When I told my late grandfather about this, he said, “Of course! That’s how I traveled when I was a kid.” Airbnb is the new, old way to travel. Decades ago, travelers stayed in boarding homes, neighbors shared what they had, and ordinary people powered the economy. These activities are re-emerging through a new movement called the sharing economy, where everyone can participate.

In New York, our 15,000 hosts are regular people from all five boroughs. Eighty-seven percent of them rent the homes in which they live. On average, they are at the median income level and more than half of them depend on Airbnb to help them stay in their home. From Harlem to Greenpoint, Staten Island to Nolita, 87 percent of our hosts live outside of the midtown-Manhattan hotel district. They are teachers, artists, students, and retirees who love doing this.

They include hosts like Teya, a student who loves cooking for her guests and will use the money she has earned on Airbnb to buy her apartment in Harlem.  Or Javier from Brooklyn, who works in the restaurant business and likes to show off his favorite Latin dance spots to travelers from every corner of the globe. And hosts like Lauren and her husband who are using the money they earn on Airbnb to pay off their student loans.

We all agree that illegal hotels are bad for New York, but that is not our community.  Our community is made up of thousands of amazing people with kind hearts. When Hurricane Sandy struck in late 2012, our hosts opened 1,400 homes to stranded evacuees. They didn’t provide just a place to stay: they personally connected with victims and offered comfort and support in a time of need.

While our guests and hosts have already made a substantial positive contribution, this is just the beginning. We imagine a more accessible New York that even more people can afford to visit, where extra space in people’s homes will not go to waste, and where millions of visitors patronize neighborhood small businesses across all five boroughs. This will be a city where tens of thousand of jobs for people like photographers, tour guides, and chefs will be created to support this thriving new ecosystem.

Other cities like Seoul, Amsterdam and Hamburg have already embraced this vision and the sharing economy. New York can do the same.

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.

We want to help New Yorkers share the city they love with the people of the world. We hope you’ll join the 225,000 people in the Airbnb community to create a New York that embraces the sharing economy and is stronger for everyone.

47 comments

About Brian Chesky

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  1. Laura

    This is, of course, how we as hosts feel, but it doesn’t really answer any concrete questions of how to proceed…. Should we not post our space on airbnb if we aren’t in the apartment? What’s the likelihood of being “caught”? I would love more information – any that exists – on how Nigel was caught/fined. Does our landlord have any say in the matter, i.e. my landlord is perfectly OK with me letting people stay in my space so am I in the clear?

    Unfortunately, the “you must be in the space” rule really is unrealistic for so many NY hosts. We live in NYC! There isn’t space for spare guests, sometimes I feel cramped just living by myself. I travel frequently and just can’t afford NOT to let guests stay.

    Additionally, I would recommend airbnb make a very clear “FYI, New Yorkers” section when we sign up. I had no idea I was potentially doing something illegal until these emails came through. Honestly, I wouldn’t have posted my place had I known but now I’m in a bind because I have an interested guest who would be screwed if I canceled on him.

    • Lynn Nevins

      …actually, for hosts who live in most of Queens, the Bx, Staten Island, and Southern Bk, they usually have at least a separate bedroom (so they, the host, could sleep on the couch, and the guest in their BR, or vice versa), and in many instances have a second bedroom. You are likely looking at this from the perspective of someone who lives in mid/lower Manh or else in the northwestern part of Bk….? In most other parts of NYC, living space is not quite that cramped.

      • Manda

        But the question has not been answer, can we rent out our apartments, the whole apartment for less than 30 days if we are not going to be there at home? What about the Attorney General Summon? Are we the target as we rent the apartment for short time and we are not there? I would inmesently appreciate an answer. Thank you. Otherwise I am afraid I will have to close down my account with my apartment here.

        • Magaly

          Hi, I too would like an answer. Should I pull my listing? When I started this I did not know it was not legal. Please explain! It is not legal because it is under 30 days ??? Is that the problem ? Where can I go to get the answers? Also, if we are the targets can we organize to get representation as a group ?

          Magaly

  2. Paul A

    Thanks Brian. I would just add what is probably an obvious comment. New York City has the most expensive rental rates in the US by far (and one of the most expensive in the world). Most of us spend a substantial portion of our pay checks (out of which comes a substantial New York City tax) on rent alone. I am outraged that the City wants to try to take away one small means we have to try to keep our financial heads above water!

    • Lynn Nevins

      …actually I’m not so sure that is true as I believe San Fran and/or Boston have rents just as high if not higher than NYC. Also, one needs to remember that NYC is not ‘just’ Manhattan or the western parts of Bk. Everyone who lives in NYC actually has a very wide price range of rentals to choose from in all five borooughs (and no, the cheaper places are not just in dangerous neighborhoods, though certainly many of them are in ‘uncool’ and/or far-flung neighborhoods…), and if some of us choose to live in apartments that require use to fork over more than 50% of our take-home pay, wasn’t that our decision?

      • Ibanesse

        Ehhhh… Sort of. New York City, as a whole, is number 2, behind San Francisco, but the cost of living in New York is considerably higher. The “sort of” is that NYC is 303 square miles of land to SF’s 47, and when you take the (relatively) lightly-populated and decidedly uncool Staten Island out of the equation, New York shoots past San Francisco. When you look at only Manhattan and Brooklyn (together twice the size of SF), New York goes into the stratosphere. Just Manhattan (half the size of SF), welcome to orbit.

      • a. rossin

        EH, considering three of the five boroughs are consistently listed as some of the most expensive places to live in the country, your statement is only sort of true. Sure, the rents are lower in those far flung places, but they’re still high for what you get. Plus, the cost of living is generally much more expensive in the tri-state area.

  3. Steve

    *** Also sent as an email to Mr. Brian Chesky.***

    Brian,

    Thanks for sending this message. On Wednesday Oct. 9, after a months long and adversarial process, my landlord will attempt to evict me at a hearing in NYC housing court. Your message is timely, however, airbnb has not been as supportive as I would have liked since I was first served with a “Notice to Cure” in late August 2013. I notified airbnb after being served with the notice and was informed that airbnb does not get involved in disputes between tenants and landlords. This news came as a surprise since my airbnb profile was specifically mentioned in the documentation I received from my landlord, and since I had been receiving updates on Nigel Warren’s case both through news articles and airbnb emails.

    Clearer laws will make things easier for tenants like myself who wish to continue renting on airbnb, and I would be grateful for any support that airbnb can provide both prior to, and after, my hearing, irrespective of the outcome.

    Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

    • Ray

      Once you were given a notice to cure and you kept renting, you couldn’t have been in the dark as much as you claim as to the risk. Some renters might consider that common sense would tell them that renting a place they don’t own, when they are not there, just might not be ok. Not ok because of liability if the stranger you are renting to gets hurt and they will be suing, or course, the property owner. Not ok because if you are making more than you are paying for rent, the landlord can’t track that, and that is not right, ie, you do not own the place. And, finally, not ok if it is rent controlled because landlords are subsidizing those apts because of a supposedly greater goal of keeping low income/diversity, in NYC and renting it out as a vacation rental has nothing to do with why the landlord is having to subsidize the lower rent-controlled apt. .. you actually want to put some of the blame on airbnb?

  4. Stuart Marland

    Thanks for these updates and for working so hard to protect us…. All seems to be good news! I know you guys are getting it right, because, like myself, a lot of NYC hosts are migrating from another worldwide hosting website to Airbnb (that website has lost the original “sharing and friendship-based” feeling.)
    Stuart

  5. JESSE

    AMEN! WE NEED THE RENT-IS-TO-DAMN-HIGH PARTY IN OUR CORNER….

    • Ibanesse

      They’re not… In fact, those groups are exactly why this is such a contentious issue. There’s tremendous fear that unscrupulous landlords will use services like airbnb to turn their buildings into illegal hotels, and, in the process, deliberately push out more and more poorer tenants in an effort to make that possible. This has happened quite a few times in the past, especially in Williamsburg during the initial explosion of development there and first surge of usage on Craigslist. In essence, the reasons for the laws and the people behind them are likely on the same page as you, it’s just that the technicalities of the ways the laws work put you and them at odds. TL;DR, a few jackasses kind of ruined it for everyone.

  6. James and Rimma Kennedy

    We Thank all of you at Airbnb for helping us make this opportunity
    legal, safe and a real contribution to the New York economy.
    Your efforts are really making a difference stay strong we
    appreciate your advocacy.

  7. Elizabeth Agee

    AirBnB actually saved my family situation when I became unemployed. With every guest I take a personal interest in what they are doing here and where they are from. I have met people from all over the world!

    I love the the idea that Brian expresses when he details the other benefits in bringing communities of people together. It is a wonderful thing.

  8. Dr. Arthur Tang

    This is good news indeed. Many questions linger, of course. For instance, will Airbnb hosts in NYC be required to apply for a Registration Certificate with the State as hotel operators? By the definition of a hotel operator, which includes apartments and bed and breakfasts, etc., the state of NY stipulates that anyone renting for more than 14 days in two consecutive quarters of a tax year must register and pay the occupancy and tax fees. This obviously will add up quickly and will lessen the incentive for people to rent their spaces. Also, what about money already earned through Airbnb? Should hosts in NYC expect a back tax bill for earnings made up to this point?
    Many thanks for any clarification regarding these matters. I understand the situation is fluid as everything is being hammered out and fine tuned.
    Regards,
    Arthur Tang

  9. Dr. Arthur Tang

    I should clarify: the rules set forth by NY State exempt individuals who rent only one room as opposed to, say, an apartment or studio. For those renting a studio, however, it seems the following rates and stipulations would apply. An I correct?
    As per the NY State.gov website concerning occupancy taxes and hotels, a hotel can be defined in the following terms:
    “A building is not considered a hotel if rooms are only rented for up to 14 days or are only rented once or twice during any four consecutive tax quarters of a 12-month filing period. Rentals to permanent residents should not be included in the number of rooms counted as hotel room rentals.”
    This definition would likely encompass almost all of the Airbnb hosts in the NYC area. Additionally, the same web site cites the following rates expected to be paid for such occupancy:

    “If the rent for the room is $10 or more, but less than $20, the tax will be 50 cents per day per room + 5.875% of the rent

    If it is $20 or more, but less than $30, the tax will be $1.00 per day per room + 5.875% of the rent

    If it is $30 or more, but less than $40, the tax
    will be $1.50 per day per room + 5.875% of the rent

    If it is $40 or more, the tax will be $2.00 per day per room* + 5.875% of the rent”

    Again, many thanks for your efforts to address these matters.
    Arthur Tang
    NYC

  10. Kanat

    Excellent!
    I lived in NYC for 20 years. It tends to have a big-brother governmental attitude rather than a laissez-faire one:over-regulated and business-unfriendly.

  11. Wenche Fox

    My name is Wenche and i have been with air bnb for close to three years now and i love it. I do however think that it would be best for all of us hosts if we could do it without fear of the city coming after us. I live in the south and somebody called the city. I am one of (i belive ) a few air bnb hosts that pay the hospitality tax. I pay 12 1/2% and i have a license to rent out rooms. According to the tax office i am allowed to do it but according to the city i am not.
    When i went to talk to the city they basically told me not to worry about it because you will find people everywhere that wants to know your business. I also told them that they would have to sue a lot of people if they wanted to shut me down since there are plenty of listings here and not only air bnb. The reason they called me in was that i had several cars parked on “MY” property and that seemed to bother people driving by.!!! Go figure! I know i have the right to know who called in so i told the city that if i got another letter i would need to know who calls because i consider it harassment. I hope and belive that there is no way a city can stop AIRBNB at this point so if they are smart they will accept it and make money by everybody paying the hospitality tax every month like i do.

    • james cheung

      what license did u get to rent out room? From which authority? I am based in LA. My city doesnt allow hotel renting service in residential zone. I want to pay tax and do it right. But without the city permit, I can’t have operations, hence pay taxes. would appreciate your sharing of experience. thank

  12. Kristi Templeton

    I am a huge fan. I love to travel, but as much like a local as possible. I am a frugal traveler and love meeting and living with the folks who live in a neighborhood and others who like to travel like me. I tell everybody about AirBNB and they love it, too.

    Thanks for all that you do! This has made travel much more of an authentic experience.

  13. David

    Hotels to objecting to Airbnb is like record labels (in the old days) objecting to iTunes…..

  14. Peter

    All of us who live in apartment buildings in NYC are concerned about our buildings turning into transient spaces. Being able to complain after the fact is not a particularly acceptable remedy.
    I would like to be able to notified via email ahead of time when an apartment in my building has been rented via airbnb. I presume that is not a technical impossibility.

    • S. E. Buckley

      I live in NYC, in a neighborhood (Tudor City) that has incredibly strict rules for subletting (it’s more arduous than a job application for the UN!). Yet, strangely, our neighborhood has a a lot of transient spaces. This is New York after all. Everyone in the world it seems wants to come here. Given that this entire city is a transient touristy one, I think AirBnB is one of the best ways to ensure quality guests that are verified, traceable and who are able to build up a track record of being good guests. Myself, I get enough emails without getting another one alerting me to a person I may never see. New Yorkers are so achingly private, yet want to be able to monitor what everyone else is doing. As someone not originally from here (but then who is) it baffles me.
      I support AirBnBs advocating for us to be able to host. If I can’t host there is no way I will be able to afford to stay here.

  15. Lynn Nevins

    It will be great if one day in NYC there is an actual law that protects NYC hosts from renting out a bedroom or bed in their apartment, and without having to worry about threats or harrassment from their neighbors, the police or their landlords. In the meantime (unfortunately), even though I always remain in my apartment and thereby share it simultaneously with my guests, I still feel the need to sneak around doing this in my buildiing, for fear the people who manage my apartment building will threaten me wiht eviction.

  16. Quixote

    Brian’s intentions are obviously the best, but I’m not sure if he realizes how corrupt the legislative process is in New York. There is a powerful hotel industry lobby, and an even more powerful landlord lobby, together with a general process of gentrification which has manifested itself in many quite vicious ways, and I fear that what will come out of his efforts will be a tightening of the existing statute to “clarify” that it is illegal to run a “bed and breakfast” out of one’s apartment, whether the tenant is present or not.

    • Joseph Tomasello DBA Groovey Records

      This is my point of view. Just look at the candidates for the present NYC elections. An ex Governor disgraced by his call girl habit. A man running for Mayor who still after being laughed out of office continued to send sexts even while running for Mayor. I wish Airbnb hadn’t opened this can of worms and kept everything on the down low.

  17. Abbie

    This is good news, however I’m concerned about this tax hosts will have to pay, can we get more clarification on that? I rent out a room in my apartment ( not brave enough to rent out the apartment when I’m not there, too afraid something may happen) and so far have had wonderful guests.

    I think the extra tax will make hosst increase their prices in order to cover the loss, which can end up taking the affordability factor away from Airbnb. We are already obligated to pay taxes, as we should, on the earnings when we file our regular taxes. To pay and additional tax would be hurtful to hosts who rely on the extra income, and guests who will have to pay higher fees to cover the taxes.

  18. Greta

    This summer while hiking in and around Portland, OR I met several women who had come to Portland and stayed with an airbnb Host. Before this summer I had never heard of airbnb, I had only heard of couch surfing. The stories of their interactions, their stays w/ their airbnb Hosts were great, warm, wonderful stories and I decided I wanted to hear more. I am an artist & a writer. Unfortunately airbnb doesn’t have a community message board where members can reach out and chat with each other. My posts on the FB page went unseen. So I decided to put up an airbnb profile so that I could hopefully get in touch with airbnb users who wanted to share their stories with me. My profile says I’m an artist and a writer and I’m collecting stories, contact me. Well… this is how much Management Companies hate airbnb…. I was served with eviction notice for subletting my apartment even though I never Hosted and no money ever exchanged hands! Oh my goodness, right?! Anyway… yay for Nigel & NYC. And in the mean time… I’m collecting stories, get in touch with me.

  19. Wilson

    Our ambition doesn’t consist in replace hotels, but to complete their functions, receiving people all over the world to visit our beautiful city in order to make life easier for our community . Everyone should encourage that initiative thank you.

  20. Greta

    In your article you stated that “In New York, our 15,000 hosts are regular people from all five boroughs. Eighty-seven percent of them rent the homes in which they live.” You are waging a battle against the hotel industry but what about the landlords? In most cases it is illegal to sublet all of or a portion of the space you rent as a legal tenant. How are airbnb hosts being protected against landlords and eviction?

  21. Scott

    Most NYC landlords perform criminal background checks on all potential tenants for the safety of all current residents. And there’s a good reason for it. My friend’s apartment was robbed last month by someone “visiting” from out of town and staying in a one week sublet in her building. So I ask, why should my neighbors (who don’t own their apartments) be free to rent out their units to anyone – be it a felon, convicted murdere or sex offender?? Where is the protection for the safety of all those who live in their building??

  22. Aswad

    Brian,

    What you wrote felt good and I’m sure that you wrote it with inspirational intentions, but unfortunately, as a NY’er those words do not address current concerns and ongoing litigations. Those who praise your efforts have not been caught and you would be remised to believe that such cheery remarks will come from anyone that finds themselves on the wrong side of the law with little more than a pep talk from AirBnB…..particularly since many did not know that we were renting illegal. What was written does not provide any direction, concrete moves that we can make to be within our legal rights, if any, or what we should do in the interim as all of this works itself out. Understand, there is not a villain in this, but AirBnb will become that in the eyes of those who utilize your service as law abiding citizens if you don’t provide straight talk which addresses the real issues which puts us in harm’s way of needless litigation. I have read some of the sharp responses by the BnB team in addressing some concerns in this forum, but hope the personalization is withdrawn from your reply and actionable assistance that is pertinent is provided, even if it’s just to acknowledge that we are breaking the law and you can do nothing to protect us. After all, we are patrons of AirBnB and deserve at least the truth if nothing else.

  23. vered

    As a successful host and a guest threw airbnb, i feel that the city should support the hosts.We give opportunity to people, to come and visit our great city, that otherwise will not be able to afford it.We help promoting business(restaurants,shops),we r “a not paid advertisement “to this great city.
    We should not be punished. We should be encouraged, we should be recognized, we should be free to host, everyone is a winner.

  24. S.E. Buckley

    Brian, do you and the other dudes and dudettes at AirBnB think it would be worth challenging the definition of “hotel” rather than seeking occupancy tax for the hosts? It seems that slapping an occupancy tax on NY hosts who are just regular people trying to keep up with the steep cost of living in NY, would defeat the mutual benefit of hosting/ guesting through AirBnB. Myself, I would have to pass on the cost to my guests. Then we DO become like hotels. Let’s keep it informal, friendly and a real sharing economy. I’m happy to do or pay something to the City, but I would suggest coming up with a unique kind of “tax”. And also one much milder that recognizes the business nature, but also support ethical sharing economy. Occupancy tax by definition will change the very substance of what you’re doing, I believe. So, I’m hoping you can find an alternative route to Occupancy Tax. Good luck. You have my support.

  25. Chuck

    This is nothing more than the pressure put out by the hotel industry to lower supply so that their outrageous prices remain high.

  26. Vaga

    There are a few concerns posted here with regard to the purported occupancy tax, and I agree AirBnB needs to go farther in its description of future effects.

    One of the keys to AirBnB’s success is that it connects private hosts & guests in private residences. Thus, the same rules as hotels should not apply. When staying at a hotel, a guest understands the commercial aspect of the property, with certain regulated expectations and services to be met. A hotel exists purely for commercial purposes, and should fall under commercial guidelines, fire codes, etc.

    Separately, every city government has landlord / tenant ordinances which landlords must follow. The laws, housing codes, etc. for private residences already exist and should apply to AirBnB hosts. If the host breaks a landlord’s clause, the landlord has every right to take action, and it will then be up to the courts to decide.

    However, AirBnB should vigorously lobby against any government body attempting to encroach or over-regulate a private homeowner’s discretionary rental activity. Private properties are not hotels, and should not be regulated or taxed like them. Forcing private property owners to adopt related occupancy fees would be excessive and ruin the very nature of AirBnB’s marketplace. I’ve been an AirBnB host and guest for about a year, and if this suggested tax is levied, I would just go back to staying at hotels.

    Allowing the government to view user information (other than normal tax reporting), and caving into the demands of ancillary lodging lobbyists and sympathetic government tax boards, is a slippery slope AirBnB is following. This should be met with serious concern by both hosts and guests.

    I expect more efforts by AirBnB to protect the short stay marketplace they’ve helped disrupt.

  27. Juliana

    Thanks, Brian for finally touching the occupancy tax issue.
    As an Airbnb host myself, I am a huge fan of what Airbnb has accomplished and how much it helped regular people like me. However, I think it’s about time Airbnb starts showing leadership in educating the community.
    We hosts cannot live in a bubble. Wherever in the world there is an opportunity to make money, there will be strings attached.
    Every host should know most cities in the US collect occupancy tax and in most cases whether you rent an entire home, or a granny flat, or spare room you are subject to tax.
    Every host should know that many HOAs do not allow rentals of less than 30 days, and yes, that applies to Airbnb rentals.
    Every host should know that subletting an apartment when the lease states you can’t is a violation of the lease agreement. Your landlord will not be happy.
    If we are to be taken seriously, we must abide by the rules like everybody else. The sharing economy is part of the general economy, not a parallel dimension.

  28. Ignacio

    Brian,
    don’t let us down ! your post really express how we feel !! We are common people, I opened my house for people in need during Sandy !! Let’f fight the hotel lobby !!
    Thanks,

  29. Gus

    I have had many guests and none have been offensive or dangerous. most are ordinary students, young professionals or families. If you tell them the rules, most follow. The guests are really normal people

  30. Ginger

    I am not a New Yorker but one of thousands of hosts across the rest of the country who is very concerned about government regulation right in the privacy of our own homes.

    One important hurdle for hosts that I foresee isn’t just the occupancy tax, it is the subsequent inspections by the cities. If we submit to being classified as hotels, then I presume our abodes will also be subject to inspectors checking that our houses are up to hotel standards such as providing handicapped access or overhead sprinkler systems, etc. It is easy to see how important it is to never agree to hotel status. My home is not a hotel. I am not open to the general public–my guests are screened by airbnb and have usually been reviewed by other hosts as well. The pprospective guests have to provide a profileand a photo. Do you know of any hotel that has these requirements for their guests? I also have no signs up on my property, nor do I advertise.

    Here is

  31. Ginger

    what I would like to propose as a solution:

    If you rent out property in san diego you pay the city a one-time rental tax of $75 per year. There are no inspections, zoning issues, or other impossible standards imposed on the homeowner. I think all hosts would agree to a flat rate, reasonably priced rental tax due once a year. I certainly would. That way we all win–the hosts, our guests, the city tax collector, the business community our guests patronize, and of course airbnb. We are actually drawing tourists to our communities which helps our economy, offers hosts more income by utilizing an asset they already have, and make a terrific impact on our foreign visitors who leave their preconditioned prejudices of Americans at our doorsteps!

  32. Marcia W

    Dear Brian,

    As a host in San Francisco I am concerned about the 15% city tax you are suggesting be paid by hosts/guests.

    I’ve enjoyed hosting for 2 years and gotten great reviews. But I won’t continue if your tax suggestion is adopted.

    To truly be a shared economy company, the Hotel Tax Should be Shared!! Airbnb, hosts and guests alike can each pay 5%. That’s right. Airbnb can afford it, and it would be great p.r., too. This is the only fair and just solution.

    Please consider it.

    Thank-you,

    Marcia

    • Cathy

      Hi,
      Brava, Marcia, I agree! We should all be willing to contribute to the city’s economy! The burden should be shared among us all — airbnb, hosts, & guests. If this alternative economy does not start to be formalized via some form of hotel tax, then the established hotel lobby will continue to work to undermining the legality of airbnb.

      With the rise of ecommerce, cities have become broke (look at the lawsuits between various states and Amazon, which refuses to pay sales tax). It’s bankrupting our cities and states (and of course, all of us are happy to save a few bucks on every book we buy) but we must be aware of the consequences of the massive public disinvestment in the public sphere (this is why so much urban development these days is privatized, development-led). My small family is always financially on the edge, so we try to cling to every dollar we earn, but at the same time, i have to remind myself that being a good citizen means paying our taxes…

  33. Chrissie

    It seems crazy what is going on in NYC! I’ve wanted to visit my whole life and finally booked tickets for next summer. Was planning to book with Airbnb, but not sure it’s a good idea now?

  34. Leonardo

    Amazing. That’s a huge victory. I’m excited for you guys.

  35. david wills

    As a host with airbnb, I am most appreciative and supportive of this system. We have met uplifting, positive and interesting people and found honest places to stay as we travel. Your response to our questions are always clear, positive accurate and overall helpful. Keep up the great work you are all doing as we believe you are providing a great service to to our society in need of honest stimulation of both intellectual and economic support. Bravo to you all!