The Real Deal New York

Ashton Kutcher urges Cuomo not to sign Airbnb bill

The bill imposes fines of up to $7,500 on hosts

August 10, 2016 08:56AM

From left: Asheton Kutcher, Airbnb founders Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, Nathan Blecharczyk and Andrew Cuomo

From left: Asheton Kutcher, Airbnb founders Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, Nathan Blecharczyk and Andrew Cuomo

Ashton Kutcher, along with the co-founders of Facebook and PayPal, are urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to veto a bill that would impose fines on Airbnb hosts.

Kutcher, an Airbnb investor, was among those who penned a letter calling on the governor to oppose the legislation sitting on Cuomo’s desk, the Wall Street Journal reported. In June, the state Senate and Assembly passed a bill that would impose fines as high as $7,500 on Airbnb hosts who advertise rentals for less than 30 days if the owner isn’t present.

“As investors and industry leaders, we believe in the good that Airbnb and home sharing have done for residents of New York,” the letter states. “We implore you to reaffirm your commitment to fostering technology and innovation.”

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes and Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel also signed the letter. Those who support the bill, including the Real Estate Board of New York, argue that it will help curb illegal short-term rentals. It’s already illegal in New York to rent out an apartment for less than 30 days unless the sublessor occupies the apartment, but an analysis by The Real Deal in October showed that roughly 60 percent of Airbnb’s listings are for whole units.

In June, Airbnb raised $850 million at a $30 billion valuation. [WSJ]Kathryn Brenzel 

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