Millions of dollars worth of #Airbnb taxes my dry up if #LA eliminates short-term rentals

Airbnb is warning Los Angeles leaders that the city could face a budgetary blow if it restricts how many days Angelenos can rent out rooms or whole homes for short stays.

Such rentals are currently illegal in many residential areas of Los Angeles, according to the planning department, but the rules are rarely enforced. The phenomenon has exploded with the rise of Airbnb and other online platforms that link hosts to travelers, stirring up worries about how those night-to-night rentals affect local neighborhoods.

As the debate over legalizing and regulating such rentals has dragged on, Los Angeles has already started taxing them, generating millions through a deal reached with the company last year. City officials estimate the agreement has already brought in more than $20 million in lodging taxes this budget year.

Now Airbnb is telling city leaders that proposed regulations could cut back on that flow of money. The warning comes days before Mayor Eric Garcetti is slated to release his budget plan and weeks after financial officials cautioned that Los Angeles could face a deficit of $224 million for the upcoming fiscal year.

Read the whole story in the LA Times


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