The New York Senate wants to ban most Airbnb listings, and tech leaders are upset

A bill that would prohibit online advertising of short-term apartment rentals passed the New York State Senate today and is now on its way to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desk — and leaders from around the tech world are not happy about it. 

Venture capitalists Fred Wilson, Reid Hoffman, Paul Graham, and Ashton Kutcher all spoke up on Twitter, voicing their opposition of the bill.

Graham and Kutcher are both investors in Airbnb and Reid Hoffman is a board observer of the company. 

On Twitter, Graham implied that the senate was trying to rush the bill through on the last day the legislature is working this year. 

 

The bill, which was introduced by Republican Rep. Andrew J. Lanza of the 24th Senate District, would make it illegal to advertise short-term apartment rentals online. According to Crain’s New York Business, the bill is aimed at reducing the number of unoccupied apartments that are rented out on Airbnb or other sites, but would not prevent anyone in New York from renting out an occupied apartment or renting out a vacant apartment for more than 30 days. 

“It’s disappointing —  but not surprising —  to see politicians in Albany cut a last minute deal with the hotel industry that will put 30,000 New Yorkers at at greater risk of bankruptcy, eviction or foreclosure,” Josh Meltzer, head of New York public policy for Airbnb, said in a statement.

 

 Said Melzer: “Let’s be clear: this is a bad proposal that will make it harder for thousands of New Yorkers to pay the bills. Dozens of governments around the world have demonstrated that there is a sensible way to regulate home sharing and we hope New York will follow their lead and protect the middle class.”

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