Mayor Rahm Emanuel-backed short term rental rules passed the City Council on Wednesday despite concerns from some aldermen that the attempt to regulate the new online economy epitomized by Airbnb does too little to protect residents from the proliferation of the business in Chicago residential neighborhoods.
The 43-7 vote came after extensive debate. Lincoln Park Ald. Michele Smith said the new rules do too little to limit the number of commercial renters and give local residents too little say on the makeup of their own neighborhoods.
Critics say the different taxes amount to a pittance for a multinational company valued at billions of dollars that easily could have afforded to pay much more. And they accuse Emanuel of having passed far too lenient standards at a time major cities in Europe and elsewhere in the U.S. are taking a much harder line against online home renting.