The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
We have been hosts with Airbnb since February 2015. We live in a rural town in the Adirondack Mountains that is a skier's paradise in winter and an outdoors person's dream in summer and fall. We offer a private apartment attached to our home for guests. We feel very fortunate to live in such a beautiful place and are happy to share our beautiful location. Without a vehicle such as Airbnb to coordinate our reservations, communications and income tax reporting, we would not have considered doing this. In a region where there are very few jobs, this venue offers us as retired people a positive way to not only share a beautiful place for a reasonable price with others, it gives us some extra money to pay toward our exorbitant school/property taxes. We have had nothing but positive experiences with Airbnb so far. Our guests, many from Canada, have all been wonderful. They are stimulating our local economy by dining in the restaurants and purchasing goods in the stores. We believe the one-on-one personal relationship between our guests and us are enticing more people to come into the area and spend their vacation dollars. We have a number of friends who are also offering their spaces through Airbnb. Everyone has only positive experiences to report. We feel any further regulation of this shared economy business should be left to the local towns discretion. If the Federal or State government becomes too involved and creates a plethora of regulations and restrictions that are not necessary, this concept of shared economy, along with the entrepreneurial spirit that created it, will be squelched. The government should be cheering this spirit along and doing everything it can to encourage people to become involved and benefit from it, both as a consumer and provider.