The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #00304

Submission Number:
Evelynn Brown, J.D., LL.M
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
Dear Commission Members: Please allow me to make comments on the concept of a sharing economy, particularly the dynamic work of Airbnb. As a host home, I benefited from working with Airbnb to rent my house during an economic drought in my community. My community has a lack of affordable rentals during the summer season and families are often deprived of visiting the area because hotels cannot accommodate their needs. The ability for individuals to rent a fully furnished home for a vacation is a sound, effective way to meet their needs and meets all health and safety requirements. The community greatly benefits from visitors to the area when families and individuals spend money at restaurants, parks and retailers. This financial benefit helps communities broaden their tax base and small businesses receive a constant stream of economic benefit that allows them to expand to hire additional employees. As a homeowner with rising fixed expenses, the additional income allows me to make improvements to my home financed by Airbnb revenue. This benefits local trades people and local businesses. As technology changes rapidly, access to a shared economy is vital to American business. Homeowners must have the right to rent their houses to keep up with the rising taxes imposed by local communities, state and federal laws. For elderly homeowners, they may not be able to keep their homes if they cannot access new ways to earn income. Airbnb offers struggling homeowners a way to financially improve their status while meeting the needs of travelers who want an alternative to traditional hotels. Local governments must realize that a shared economy is a benefit to their financial income streams and wave of the future. Airbnb, Uber and other companies have opened up alternatives to consumers that has a great financial impact on our economy. I highly recommend the Commission find in favor of innovative ways to meet the challenges of an ever evolving, high tech industry that provides benefits to consumers. The United States has a wonderful opportunity to lead the world in endorsing brilliant ideas of innovative companies like Airbnb. Thank you for your consideration of these comments. Kind Regards, E.Brown, J.D., LL.M