Wednesday, May 21, 2014
As some folks know, I have been working on an article on local regulation of the so-called sharing economy. And so, I am intrigued by today's news that Airbnb will provide anonymous data on its users to the New York Attorney General.
This Airbnb case is the tip of the iceberg. The disruptive technologies of the sharing economy will revolutionize municipal licensing and tax revenue structures: it is only a matter of how fast they do so. Cities will need to start thinking creatively about how to permit innovation the sharing economy enables while also shoring up their regulatory and financial bases. To get a sense of what's at stake, consider: San Francisco's hotel tax is anticipated to generate some $273 million a year in Fiscal Year 2013-14.
Legal academics have--to my knowledge--given short shrift to this emerging topic. There is, however, a nice primer of the legal issues in the latest issue of the Boston Bar Journal, which is available here.
More thoughts on this from me soon...
Stephen R. Miller