The deep-pocketed American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), the group paid by the hotel industry to lobby elected officials in the US, has crafted “model” legislation that not only would impose a new $2,500 tax on all hosts, but would also ban hosts from sharing their homes when out of town, and force home sharing platforms to violate hosts’ and guests’ privacy.
Added up, the new tax means over $1.25 billion out of the pockets of regular folks who use home sharing to earn a little extra income to pay the bills and welcome people from all over the world. The hotel industry lobby is pulling out all the stops to attack the home sharing community. And our community is taking a stand: Within just 30 minutes of asking our community of hosts and guests to push back against this legislation, over 3,500 home sharing supporters signed signed a petition opposing this special interest legislation.
Laura from Woodland Hills, CA summarized our community’s response to the hotel industry when she said, “Home sharing has allowed me to keep my home, while launching a small business of my own. Without it, I would have lost my home and my livelihood. I am not competition for the hotel industry, I host people anywhere from two weeks to a full year, as they move from another state, or attend school, or work as interns in my area. Staying in a hotel would not be feasible for them.”
“I am a 58-year-old woman with some health issues and being able to do Airbnb has completely saved my life and finances,” writes Michelle from Providence, RI. “We’re not hurting anyone. $2500 is outrageous!”
The hotel industry likes to say that all they want is a “level playing field,” but if that were the case, they wouldn’t be pushing for $1.25 billion in new taxes on hosts in the US. In fact, what they are trying to do is end home sharing as we know it in order to protect their record profits.
The fact is that US hotels are doing better than ever, earning a whopping $189 billion in revenue and $73 billion in profits last year. Just recently, hotel executives bragged about being able to price-gouge consumers when there’s less home sharing. This legislation is nothing more than this entrenched special interest doubling down on keeping lodging options limited so they can continue to gouge customers.