The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #01104

Submission Number:
01104
Commenter:
John Macatee
State:
California
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
Representatives; RE: AIRBnB.com My wife and I purchased our home at the end of 2011. Financially we were in poor shape, however after losing my job in 2007, my home shortly after as I could not find work. In short, we had lost everything and we are living in a one bedroom apartment with five years away from collecting early social security. We had both found jobs, however my student loans I took to send my Son to Chapman University are now above $225,000.00 because of the interest piling up which I cannot pay due to the low paying jobs that we have. I thought things could not get worse, however they did and my son after graduating, passed away. My income suffered directly and we came very close to losing our home. To protect our future we had purchased our home and struggled with the mortgage until we came across AirBnB. We have been able to meet our mortgage payments only because of the income generated by our guests. I am provided a 1099 as the additional income is reported to the IRS. Without this additional income, we will again be on the edge of losing our home should any unexpected event occur. Not only do we pay tax, our guests are spending their hard earned dollars in the small business community, providing a much needed boost to our local economy as well as the additional sales tax, and income tax due from their spending. Please know, between my wife and I we are not generating a huge income, which when combined is under $65,000.00 including the income from listing our home for short stay guests. Further, the vetting that is done by AirBnB on our behalf is terrific for the home owner but it is also extremely valuable for the neighborhood by screening out the possible criminal element and utilizes several tools to insure the guests do not damage or create issues during their stay. Please consider how important this is for everyone and perhaps list your home to see exactly how terrific the service AirBnB actually is! Please at least give this time to prove out while making such a great contribution moving forward. Respectfully, John and Sandra Macatee [REDACTED]