AirBnB, the apartment sharing website that is fighting for its legal right to remain in New York City, has been trying to court Mayor Bill de Blasio directly since before he even took office. Apparently its video of users obsequiously congratulating him on his election didn't do the trick, so now the site has moved on to a different tactic: offering money. AirBnB said in a letter to the mayor that, if legalized, its host would pay more than $21 million a year in state and city taxes. (They also included some helpful suggestions for which campaign promises he could fulfill using the money, which was probably very much appreciated.)
The issue of taxes is more complicated than AirBnB just paying them or not paying them, however. In past negotiations, AirBnB has promised to make its users pay the hotel occupancy tax, while the Attorney General's office has claimed that they not be able to enforce the policy and were making empty promises.
· Airbnb to New York's Mayor: Tax Our Hosts, Fund Pet Programs [WSJ]
· AirBnB coverage [Curbed]