Legislation Will Imperil Short-Term Renters from Anacostia to Brookland

Washington DC, November 12, 2018 – The future of short-term rentals (STRs) throughout the nation’s capital is being put at risk by DC Council Bill – B22-0092 which would introduce a licensing system that would eliminate nearly all current short-term rentals like Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO.

The bill would:

  • impose zoning requirements that effectively eliminate nearly all short-term rentals;
  • require short-term rental platforms to share private information about hosts with the city government;
  • cost the city over $104 million in lost taxes and implementation costs;
  • eliminate short-term rental competition allowing big-hotels to gouge visitors to the nation’s capital.

“Big hotels are the only real winners of DC’s anti-home sharing bill.” said Carl Szabo, Vice President at NetChoice. “The city’s latest anti-tech action threatens resident’s privacy and financial security.”

“I can think of a better way for the city to spend $100 million.”

“DC is going after short-term rentals to the detriment of home owners and at a cost of $104 million,” continued Szabo. “The City Council’s proposed rules would burden residents who use STR platforms to help make ends meet.”

A copy of coalition opposition letter can be found at: https://netchoice.org/wp-content/uploads/Association-Joint-DC-Council-Letter-150.pdf

About NetChoice

NetChoice is a trade association of eCommerce and online businesses that share the goal of promoting convenience, choice, and commerce on the net.

NetChoice Calls For Federal Privacy Legislation to Stop Fracturing of the Internet

Washington, D.C. – Today, NetChoice filed comments with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (“NTIA”) request for comments on Request for Comments on Developing the Administration’s Approach to Consumer Privacy.

“We are seeing a fracturing of the internet driven by states introducing disparate privacy bills.” said Carl Szabo, Vice President of NetChoice. “The time has come for establishment of a nationwide standard for privacy online.”

“Americans should ask for a better privacy approach than what Europe and California concocted. Americans deserve a privacy law that doesn’t remove services and stymie innovation.” continued Szabo. “Federal privacy legislation should allow for industry safe-harbors similar to those in the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.”

Read Comments to NTIA

Entrepreneurship’s Demise Has Been Grossly Exaggerated

Special interests inside the beltway are seeing political and financial opportunities in taking down America’s most successful businesses. Some are using it to mobilize votes from the “hipster antitrust” activists where others are using it to fundraise from business rivals.

One such group is the Open Markets Institute (OMI) who recently discovered a new war-cry, “big businesses are destroying entrepreneurs.”

At their recent conference, OMI repeated this misstatement. They argue the cause of this trend is the dominance of large tech companies. But their claims could not be further from the truth.

WIBV TV – Online sellers await Supreme Court ruling on sales tax collection

WIBV TV – Online sellers await Supreme Court ruling on sales tax collection

Carl Szabo, vice president of Net Choice, an e-commerce trade association, says it cuts both ways.

For example, he says a smaller Main Street business that decides to go online and sell would be forced to comply immediately with thousands of tax jurisdictions.

“We’re trying to make sure that states can’t reach across their borders, and tax collectors in Boston can’t impose burdens on Buffalo businesses,” said Szabo.

For Some It’s Trial-Bar First, Victims of Sex Trafficking Second

What if there was a bill that would make it easier for federal, state, and local law enforcement to prosecute sex-traffickers?

What if the bill applied to sex-traffickers in back-alley streets or back-alley websites?

What if the bill provided victims with automatic compensation, saving victims the pain and cost of a civil trial?

What if the bill had the support of law enforcement groups like: the FBI Agents Association, Fraternal Order of Police, Major Cities Chiefs Association, and National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys? Read more

Stopping Sex Traffickers Online and on our Streets

Now is the Time to Pass the Congressional House Bill, Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 (FOSTA)

Thursday is National Human Trafficking Awareness day, to raise concern about one of the most heinous crimes occurring here and abroad. This modern-day sex slavery must be stopped.

This means that we must arm law enforcement and prosecutors with the legal tools to take actions against sex trafficking criminals.

To that end, Congressman Ann Wagner and Chairman Bob Goodlatte sponsored the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 (FOSTA) — legislation designed to give state, local, and federal prosecutors new ways to take down and imprison sex traffickers — whether they are selling on our streets or over the internet. Read more

This Theory - States with legislation: website inherits a selfie? States seek to fill privacy law gaps

Carl Szabo, senior policy counsel at NetChoice, an industry group that represents the interests of such companies as Facebook, Google and PayPal, said the revised legislation “balances the needs of the bereaved with the privacy interests of the account holders and the people with whom they corresponded.”

READ MORE

LA Times – With billions at stake, Supreme Court urged to revisit ruling shielding internet purchases from sales tax

LA Times – With billions at stake, Supreme Court urged to revisit ruling shielding internet purchases from sales tax

“I really worry about the impact on small to mid-sized businesses. This would unleash tax collectors to pursue them all over the country. And they may not to be able to absorb the compliance cost,” said Carl Szabo, general counsel for NetChoice, a trade association for online businesses. He said small, web-based firms could face tax audits not just from 45 states, but from the thousands of municipalities with their own sales taxes.

READ MORE

Also at:

Norwalk Reflector

 

Wired – Are Tech Companies Trying To Derail The Sex-Trafficking Bill?

Wired – Are Tech Companies Trying To Derail The Sex-Trafficking Bill?

Although the new letter does not mention the tech industry’s role, some advocates point out that the language in the amendment closely mirrors a suggestion made by Chris Cox, a former congressman and lobbyist who serves as outside counsel for NetChoice, an advocacy group funded in part by Google. NetChoice declined to say whether Google was one of its larger donors, but noted that it has two dozen members. “We don’t speak for any one member, not do we represent any members,” spokesperson Carl Szabo, the group’s vice president, told WIRED.

READ MORE

Innovation and success must remain our economic foundation

If there is one word that could sum up the current political climate, it is frustration. And that frustration takes many forms.

There are, understandably, many Americans who feel frustrated about being left behind in the internet era, and fearful of being swamped by waves of emerging technologies.

But we also have many old-economy companies and bureaucrats who view new-economy businesses as a threat to their decades-long dominance of certain markets. And these legacy companies are doing everything they can to protect their privileged position in established markets.

READ MORE at The Hill