The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #00470

Submission Number:
00470
Commenter:
Terri Kruzan
State:
Georgia
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
My husband and I are Airbnb hosts. We are retired and chose to become a host to supplement our fixed retirement income as well as to keep us engaged with the world. We thank the FTC for initiating your investigation to improve the viability of the 'sharing economy. Through our Airbnb experience, we have learned to trust the security of the Airbnb platform to screen guests and to keep our home safe. The platform also allows us to communicate easily with guests to get to know them before they come into our homes which makes our hosting role even better. This supplemental income generated through Airbnb is helping us stay in our home of over 25 years in a wonderful community with our friends close by as well as accessible public transportation, shopping, entertainment and medical facilities. Out town of Decatur is an in-town community of metropolitan Atlanta and due to its high performing schools is attracting younger home buyers which is raising the value of residential property and subsequently our taxes. We helped make this a viable community and public school system, but as we and others of our generation retire, the taxes are driving older homeowners from their homes. We are running the income produced through our own S-Corporation and will pay taxes appropriately - and we have worked with our local gov'rn to make sure we meet local business codes. It is fun to watch our guests actively participate in our local economy by going to local restaurants, shops and entertainment. A fun fact is that over 50% of our guests come by public transportation, due to our close proximity to public transit, including a direct subway from the airport There are not many hotels in the area and due to lack of available land, it will be difficult to build more hotels in our mostly residential community. We are working to make our community more and more of a walkable place, so people can work, live and play without increasing traffic congestion and pollution The sharing economy is a new way of working for the 21st Century which more easily connects small business owners with customers in a very direct way. Our hope is that the U.S. government finds ways to not stifle this 'new way working,' but ensure there is sufficient rules and regulations to keep it open and safe for both consumers and business owners. The issue of helping home owner insurance companies become more comfortable with this sharing economy is important as we recognize the need to have insurance to protect both our home and our part-time business. Thank you