The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #00567

Submission Number:
00567
Commenter:
Robert Capelli
State:
Hawaii
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
Airbnb has saved us from going on Unemployment Compensation. I was recruited to a company in Hawaii 13 years ago and moved my entire family to a remote island (including my mother and my mentally handicapped sister). After 12 years I was let go by this company, and with no other prospects for employment in my field on this island, my wife and I started hosting on Airbnb. The income generated has allowed us to remain here to care for my mom (who is now 91) and my mentally handicapped sister (who is in a hospital and couldn't be moved to another state). And from the government's perspective, we're now sending checks in to Hawaii every quarter to pay G.E.T. taxes and transient accommodations taxes, as well as paying both Federal and State income taxes on the money we earn from Airbnb. In addition to hosting on Airbnb, we use it when we travel as we greatly prefer meeting new people and staying in unique, private residences as compared to impersonal hotels. Airbnb does an incredible job screening people and the review process provides safety when choosing both guests to stay with us as well as places for us to stay when we're away. This one company has completely changed the way we live in a greatly positive manner, and while we have not used other "sharing" companies like Uber yet, I'm sure that they've had a very positive impact on individuals and the entire economy as well. If there is one issue we feel strongly about as voters, it's protecting Airbnb and other facets of the "sharing economy." Sincerely, Robert and Berta Capelli