The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #01923

Submission Number:
01923
Commenter:
Eleanor Olsen
State:
Washington
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
Dear Distinguished Members of the Federal Trade Commission, My husband and I have been Airbnb hosts for 4 years. We are above board and claim all our income and pay our state sales taxes and Band O taxes as required by the state of Washington as well as claim our extra income on our Federal taxes, so we are not trying to have an underground small business, contrary to what some of the opposition has said. We are a semi-retired couple. My husband is disabled with a bad heart. Airbnb has allowed us to remain in our home and be self sufficient with very little change in our lifestyle in spite of my husband's decreased ability to work. We have had the pleasure of hosting people from around the world and feel we are like ambassadors of the US, sharing what our wonderful area of the country has to offer. Foreign travelers get a much better perspective of what life is like in the US by staying with a family instead of at corporate hotel chain, especially our many guests from China, who are fascinated with the US culture and political climate. Airbnb and other sharing companies are far more than a place to stay for a traveler. We are a global community working together like neighbors to promote good will world wide. Our friends daughter was missing in Nepal after the earthquake and I was able to contact many Airbnb hosts in and around Katmandu to spread the word that she was missing and would they share her picture with their friends in hopes of finding her. Through that we have formed a bond and we are able to help them rebuild their lives after such devastaion and destruction as well as loss of life. Airbnb also offered people displaced in this and other disasters a safe place to stay at no charge to the victims. I hope when you are studying the effects of the Sharing community on the economy you will also consider the effects the sharing community is having on Global Humanity. Sincerely, Eleanor A. Olsen [Redacted]