News & Politics

Nanny New York Senate Passes Anti-Airbnb Bill

(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

Via The Verge:

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will soon either veto or sign into law a bill that makes it illegal to advertise entire unoccupied apartments for short-term rentals on Airbnb. Despite loud objections from Airbnb and Silicon Valley investors like Ashton Kutcher and Paul Graham, the New York State Senate passed the bill on Friday, the latest development in a complicated relationship between Airbnb and its biggest market. Now the measure is headed to Cuomo’s desk. The bill prohibits online apartment listings that last under 30 days and run up against the city’s multiple dwelling law, which is designed to stop apartment buyers from renting out the entire space and basically turning their units into Airbnb hotels.

First-time offenders would be fined $1,000, but a third infraction would be much costlier at $7,500. “Let’s be clear: this is a bad proposal that will make it harder for thousands of New Yorkers to pay the bills,” an Airbnb spokesperson told TechCrunch. “Dozens of governments around the world have demonstrated that there is a sensible way to regulate home sharing and we hope New York will follow their lead and protect the middle class.”

One of the bill’s sponsors offered some nonsense about Airbnb shattering a “sense of community.” Yeah, that’s what Manhattan folk are all about—the tight-knit community.

Municipalities and states that oppose various sharing economy companies like Airbnb and Uber are always selling their intervention as pure altruism, which it most definitely is not. The opposition is all about keeping two revenue pipelines flowing freely. The more they can regulate, the more they can nickel and dime people to financial death. They’re also fond of Big Labor campaign contributions, and the unions are no fans of sharing economy companies.

Thankfully, not every politician in America has gone to the dark side on this issue. Recently, Arizona’s legislature passed a bill protecting Airbnb and companies like it.

Most government types will, however, remain bitterly opposed to economy, efficiency and innovation because all three threaten their power.