The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #01184

Submission Number:
01184
Commenter:
Susan Lewis
State:
Pennsylvania
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
As a licensed and inspected bed and breakfast, I pay my taxes (Federal, state and 3% county hotel tax) on all my bookings. I also happen to be registered on AirBNB. When I opened my business last year I asked the county taxing authority if they were collecting tax on AirBNB rentals. They didn't even know what AirBNB was. Obviously the AirBNB-only rentals in my county (Fayette County, PA) have not been paying the county tax (and have they been paying state and Federal taxes?). The 3% hotel tax is used to promote tourism, and if not collected, our local area suffers. In addition, not paying these taxes gives AirBNB's customers an unfair advantage over regulated, licensed and inspected businesses. AirBNB is not set up to make tax enforcement simple. The only information available about the owner (unless you actually book their room) is first name and general location (town name) so identification by the taxing authority is difficult.