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What Are People Saying About Gov. Cuomo’s Signing Of The Airbnb Bill?


Last Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the long-debated “Airbnb bill” that imposes fines of up to $7,500 for advertising illegal units on home-sharing sites. 

Although Cuomo spokesperson Rich Azzopardi said the decision was “given careful, deliberate consideration,” Airbnb immediately filed a suit in Manhattan federal court to block the law, claiming it violates Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act as well as the First Amendment

The $30B company has more than 44,000 listings in NYC, which generated over $1B last year, and recently proposed a five-point plan to limit the number of listings a person can have on the site, crack down on repeat violators, and collect and remit hotel-like taxes. With an issue this big, many gave their two cents. Here are some of the reactions in the aftermath:

Airbnb public policy head Josh Meltzer

“In typical fashion, Albany back-room dealing rewarded a special interest—the price-gouging hotel industry—and ignored the voices of tens of thousands of New Yorkers...A majority of New Yorkers have embraced home sharing, and we will continue to fight for a smart policy solution that works for the the people, not the powerful.”

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman

“Airbnb can't have it both ways: it must either police illegal activity on its own site—or government will act to protect New Yorkers, as the state just did.” 

Bill sponsor and assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal

"Airbnb’s entire business model is predicated on breaking the law. At the eleventh hour they’re desperate to change the narrative, and we do not negotiate in newspapers, in the press, and especially with the lawbreakers."

Hotel and Motel Trades Council president Peter Ward

“The bill is a monumental step toward stemming the tide of illegal hotels that are depleting our affordable housing stock and driving up rent in New York City.”

REBNY president John Banks

“This legislation is an important step toward stopping illegal behavior that takes precious housing units off the market, threatens hotel workers’ jobs and hurts the quality of life for residents in our city’s multifamily buildings.”

BDO USA assurance partner Stuart Eisenberg

“[The signing is] a victory for not only for hoteliers, but also for tenants renting under longer-term leases, as it could clamp down on rental rate growth and return some supply into the long-term rental market. The question remains as to whether the rule has enough teeth. It aims to make enforcement more black and white, but policing violations could be a challenge, especially as those that capitalized on short-term rentals through Airbnb look for ways to structure their operations around the new rules.”

Belkin Burden Wenig & Goldman founding partner Sherwin Belkin

"The Airbnb misinformation campaign, attempting to portray itself as a facilitator of affordable housing, didn’t succeed. Ultimately, Gov. Cuomo and both houses recognized that pre-existing law must be enforced and the violator of the law, not an innocent property owner, should bear the brunt of any penalties.”