The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #01101

Submission Number:
Kathleen Panek
West Virginia
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
I am licensed, insured, pay all fees required by State, County, and Municipality, undergo all inspections required by State and County in addition to the inspection required by my State Association. I have installed CO/Smoke detectors and all other devices and requirements imposed by the laws and Codes of my State, County, and Municipality. I collect and remit taxes in accordance with the law. Since I am legally listed as a business, I also pay higher real estate taxes. The idea of business is to make a profit. I DO list on Airbnb looking at it as another place to be found a la "if you cannot beat them, join them". I DO OBJECT to the listings that are not legally registered as businesses The "Sharing Economy" is not sharing the burden of taxes, fees, and safety features I am required to have and pay for - their version of sharing does not include sharing the burden of regulations and expenses thereof. And since homeowners insurance does not cover commercial, the safety of the Public that I am told the regulations are in place to protect are not being protected. When attempting to get bed & breakfasts into the Fire Codes of the State of West Virginia, I was told by the State Fire Marshal the metal folding ladders we were asking to be required as fire escape measures were not up to any Code and therefore could not be used -- "we have to protect the safety of the Public". With the "Sharing Economy" not being registered, licensed, inspected, nor proof of insurance, how are we protecting the Safety of the Public? I do not fear competition when all are paying the same fees, taxes, and following the same Codes and laws and dictates of the Government, paying the onerous insurance rates to protect and indemnify the Public. Continue the "Sharing Economy" as it is being called and legal tax-paying and tax-collecting businesses WILL go out of business because we cannot survive with non-tax-paying, non-tax-collecting entities siphoning off our business. They can charge lower rates because they are not paying fees and taxes and insurance. They are not being inspected and paying the inspection fees. Close down the legal businesses and watch the revenues needed to support government dry up. The "Sharing Economy" is not sharing with the government.