After years of complaining about how Airbnb doesn't compete on a level playing field, apparently the hotel lobby in New York now wants to ensure that the peer-to-peer hospitality startup isn't held to the same standards, especially as it relates to taxes. Airbnb has taken steps to ensure that it will be able to begin collecting hotel occupancy taxes, possibly as soon as this summer. It's just waiting on legislators and local regulators to give it the green light to do so in markets like San Francisco and New York. But it seems the hotel lobby in New York doesn't actually want Airbnb to pay hotel taxes, it just wants to complain about Airbnb not paying hotel taxes. In a blog post this morning, Airbnb noted a shift in rhetoric from the same leaders in the hotel industry that were slamming the startup and its hosts for not paying the same tax that they do. While Airbnb is urging legislators in New York to enact changes to the law that it says would result in $21 million in taxes being given back to the state, the Hotel Association of New York City said it would oppose such changes. Of course, that's just one piece of a larger issue, which is that any new legislation holding Airbnb accountable for taxes would also legitimize the Airbnb business. And that's something the hotel lobby doesn't want.
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