My name is Friederycke. On Airbnb my husband Jeff and I are "Friederycke and Jeff". We have two Airbnb listings in The Hague, Netherlands. We have been doing both long term and short term rentals since 2010 and we have been on Airbnb since 2014. We started because we really had no choice. We couldn't sell our old home in the middle of the real estate crisis and it was becoming too small for our growing family. We have had many happy guests since then and we now also share our current home, because we like it.
I have learned a lot from the Airbnb new hosts group. Thank you Deborah for setting up this forum!
In about an hour or so, I am off to a city council meeting. They are proposing to increase occupancy tax for Airbnb type rooms up to 16%. Large hotels will pay 3%. Very unfair and harmful for the city, in my opinion. They will open the floor for citizens to respond to the proposal, so that is what I will do.
Post by High Priestess on Oct 29, 2015 10:17:27 GMT
Welcome, Friederycke! I am glad to hear you have enjoyed the New Hosts Forum!
I am so upset to hear that your city is wanting to charge 16% tax to AIrbnb rentals while they only charge 3% tax to hotels. That is appalling! It is most certainly very unfair. In fact I have never heard of anything so unfair, regarding transient occupancy tax or "hotel tax." Good for you, for going to the city council meeting. ARe you able to organize other hosts in your city to work against this too, and advocate for fair regulations? If you would be interested in hearing some strategies for advocating in local government for fair and reasonable regulations, you might want to talk to Peter Kwan ( a moderator on this forum and the founder of Home Sharers organization, which has done much political advocacy work for hosts in San Francisco). If you want to contact him let me know and I can put you in touch with him.
He could also help you start a Home Sharers Chapter in your city.
I just spoke in the city council. I was the only Airbnb host, but I was glad that there were representatives of youth hostels, camp sites, the local harbour, and others who shared my concerns. It is difficult to organize hosts here because the city is not clear about their position regarding home sharing. Hosts don't know whether it is allowed to home share and what the future will bring. This is why most hosts want to lie low and not speak out in public. It is also why many hosts don't pay tax at all, because that requires registering with the city.
I'll think about how much advocacy I want to do. It is obviously important to me, but with a full time job and a family it is not my only priority.
Post by High Priestess on Oct 29, 2015 16:26:59 GMT
Many hosts are like those in your city, who prefer to lie low and not be known to the city, if the city has not yet made clear the laws about home sharing. But they can still advocate for home sharing by writing letters, perhaps using only their first name, or just send them anonymously. These are part of the things that Home Sharers has dealt with and can help other hosts with.