New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, with Airbnb in its crosshairs, is primarily focused on the allegedly millions of dollars users owe in taxes. And there are plenty of dollars that stand to be gleaned, according to new figures Airbnb provided to the AG’s office.
New York State’s top 40 Airbnb hosts each grossed at least $400,000 over the past three years, a total of $35 million over that time. In that same period, the top 100 hosts grossed $54 million, the New York Times reported.
“We began this process in the hopes of collaborating with Airbnb to recover millions of dollars in unpaid taxes and to stop the abuse of AirBnB’s site by operators of illegal hotels,” Matt Mittenthal, a spokesperson for Schneiderman, told the Times. “Airbnb isn’t standing up for average New Yorkers who rent out their apartments from time to time — Airbnb is standing up for highly profitable, illegal businesses that make up a huge chunk of its corporate revenue.”
Airbnb, however, argues that its users actually generate tremendous cash for the city. In a report last month, the short-term rental site said it generated $632 million for New York City’s economy by redirecting visitor funds from pricey hotel rooms to other goods and services.
Schneiderman subpoenad Airbnb’s data on over 15,000 host users in New York City in early October, a move the company has attempted to block. [NYT] — Julie Strickland