Anti-Home Sharing Bill Would Hurt Thousands in the District

WASHINGTON, September 25, 2018 – A newly proposed ordinance would decimate DC’s robust short-term rental market, depriving home-owners of their property rights and hurting neighborhood restaurants and small businesses that benefit from short-term rentals in the District.

The proposed restrictions on short-term rentals, to be released later today, are accompanied by a half-million-dollar ad campaign funded by the big hotel chains – who want to eliminate competition from short-term rentals.   LaSalle Hotel Properties’s CEO told investors that a law curtailing short-term rental services would allow hotels to boost their room rates.

“Washington DC already gives millions in tax breaks to big hotels, and Council should not give hotels another handout by curtailing the property rights of District home owners,” said Carl Szabo, General Counsel of NetChoice.

Short-term rentals provide much-needed income to hundreds of DC residents.  Over 52 percent of short-term rental hosts nationwide live in low-to-moderate income households. And almost half of the income hosts earn through short-term rentals helps them cover household expenses.  Moreover, there are hundreds of local restaurants, shops, and cleaning services that benefit from the activity of short-term rentals.

“This legislation has been marred by misinformation and process problems and should not be rammed through in the closing days of this year’s final Council session.   This issue deserves a robust public discussion and economic impact analysis,” continued Szabo.

“This bill will harm thousands of DC residents who rely on short-term rentals, not just home owners, but small businesses that benefit from the economic boost created by short term renting.”

 

About NetChoice

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

NetChoice Concerns with Baltimore City Mandates on Short Term Rental Platforms

NetChoice Concerns with Baltimore City Mandates on Short Term Rental Platforms

Americans Believe Online Platforms Empower Business Advertising and Community Engagement

Our data shows that Americans see the growth of online platforms has had a positive impact on the economy. Online platforms have not only allowed businesses of every size to reach potential customers nationwide, but also to advertise to them intelligently based so that they can reach the sort of customers more likely to buy their products. For many businesses, this has enabled them to thrive rather than just survive.

Consumers have benefitted too. Greater competition, innovation, and a reduction in the information gap has all been enabled by online platforms. With their help, an ideal purchase is only a click away.

58% of Americans, and 73% of those between 18 and 24 years old, say online platforms helped them discover a small business they had not previously known.

Online platforms haven’t just benefited commerce, either. 72% of Americans said that online platforms have enabled them to be in better touch with their community.

Over three quarters of Americans (77%) believe that the ability to place digital ads on these platforms is valuable to small businesses. This benefit extends to the wider economy too, with 70% of Americans believing that digital advertising is valuable to the national economy.

Evidently, Americans value their access to online platforms and the advertising services they provide. Politicians should avoid passing regulations that risk undermining every the benefits of the internet at every layer of society – from how individuals interact with their local community, to the viability of small businesses, to the wider economy.

Online platforms have become a vibrant and important component of our economy and society.

City Council Making Too Many Wrong Mistakes

City Council Making Too Many Wrong Mistakes

As Yogi Berra would say, “It is Deja’ Vu all over again.”

At every turn, the New York City Council sides with the taxi cartels to the detriment of citizens outside of the heart of midtown Manhattan. This week was no different as the City Council voted to place a moratorium on new vehicle licenses for ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft.

Read more on our medium page.

Don’t Let NY City Stay in Bed with Hotel Conglomerates

Don’t Let NY City Stay in Bed with Hotel Conglomerates

Imagine having city inspectors knocking on your door with a warrant to enter your home and fine you $8,000. The crime? Renting out a room as a short-term rental without hotel-level fire alarm and sprinkler systems, elevator access, and a host of other absurdities.

[Read more]

NetChoice Releases Policy Note on Car Rental Handouts

Last week, alongside the publishing of this article on The Drive, NetChoice released a new policy note, examining the large handouts big rental car companies receive.

The note shows that car rental companies receive a national yearly total of over $3 billion in tax breaks.

The note also provides data showing how much rental car companies received in sales tax exemptions in 2016.

Unlike car rental companies, people who use apps like Turo to lease out their cars do not enjoy these tax breaks

Ignoring this multi-billion dollar tax break, car rental companies claim that peer-to-peer car sharing platforms like Turo are the same as car rental companies.  Big car rental companies are using “level playing field” rhetoric to justify calls for stiff regulations onto peer-to-peer car platforms designed to skew in favor of big rental.

Read the full policy note here, and take a look at press coverage on its findings by Reason Magazine and The Drive.

The Drive - Major Rental Car Companies Want Car Sharing Services to Be Equally Regulated

“Turo hosts have an economic disadvantage compared to giant rental car companies. NetChoice estimates that rental companies avoid paying $3.2 billion annually in state sales taxes, while Turo estimates that [its] hosts have paid over $450 million in state sales taxes when they purchased their personal vehicles,” Michelle Peacock, VP and Head of Government Relations at Turo told The Drive.

Chicago Business - Your neighbor isn't a business

There are benefits to being a traditional car-rental company that platforms like Turo don’t have. Traditional car-rental companies get all of what they charge for renting a vehicle. On Turo, the bulk of the money goes to the car owner and the platform only gets a small portion of the fee. Traditional car-rental companies get millions in tax subsidies, grants and federal bailouts. Individual car owners don’t. In fact, NetChoice estimates that rental companies avoid paying $3.2 billion annually in state sales taxes, while Turo estimates that its hosts have paid over $455 million in state sales taxes when they purchased their personal vehicles.

NetChoice Opposition to Baltimore City Council Ordinance 18-0189

NetChoice Opposition to Baltimore City Council Ordinance 18-0189