Top investors, tech leaders protest homesharing bill

Today, more than 40 investors and technology leaders send a letter to Gov. Cuomo, urging him to veto a bill passed earlier this summer that would allow for fines on individuals who rent their homes out on homesharing platforms like Airbnb. You can read the letter in full here.

Many in the Tech:NYC community, including our executive director Julie Samuels, joined the letter, which explains why we think the bill is dangerous for New York.

As new, innovative ideas become mainstream, like home sharing, we face a choice: to embrace the jobs of the future and harness the economic opportunities created by new ideas, or, to allow entrenched industries to dictate their interests and refuse to make room for new competitors.

We are increasingly concerned New York legislators are turning their backs on innovation, saying no to technology and siding with the entrenched interests that have controlled Albany for too long

Emerging industries like Airbnb should be regulated, but overregulation of new ideas is bad for everyday people and bad for New York. We need a process that brings all stakeholders to the table to work through a solution that is beneficial for all of New York, not just entrenched interests.

Airbnb is a huge economic driver in New York state. With over 40,000 individual hosts in the state, the typical host earns $5,600 a year. In one year, Airbnb generated $2 billion in economic activity in the state. 

This does not mean that Airbnb and other homesharing platforms shouldn't be regulated; they should. But as we've said before: "The proposal is a hasty reaction to one tech company, Airbnb, and it’s a blunt, imprudent regulatory response to home-sharing. Instead, New York should be pursuing comprehensive home-sharing agreements that both strengthen our neighborhoods while protecting the rights of everyday New Yorkers."

We hope Gov. Cuomo will veto this bill and use the opportunity to bring together stakeholders to craft a comprehensive solution that works for all New Yorkers.