R Street Criticizes New York’s Anti-Airbnb Law

Following Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent signing of a New York State law that institutes a fine of between $1,000 and $7,500 for posting a property on a short-term rental site such as Airbnb, R Street Institute Executive Director Andrew Moylan released the following statement.

“It is difficult to conceive how one might make this law more antithetical to free-market principles,” said Moylan, “New York’s state government has decided that it should be the ultimate arbiter of how private property owners may utilize their own property, while simultaneously sending a clear message that innovative companies are not welcome in the state, if they intend to challenge inefficient, entrenched monopolies.”

R Street has previously examined the anti-short-term rental initiative in New York, including unsupported claims that Airbnb contributes significantly to housing shortages. Despite the dearth of evidence supporting this argument, the interest groups that have thrust the anti-Airbnb bill upon New Yorkers have relied upon supposed concern about housing supply to legitimize their efforts.

“This law harms the ability of property owners to exercise their legitimate rights, undercuts innovation and economic opportunity, and reduces options for travelers. New York’s law is an anti-competitive measure masquerading as informed public policy.”

Moylan is the author of R Street’s RoomScore report, a study that grades the top 59 cities in America for their regulatory friendliness toward short-term rental services. In the report, released prior to New York’s newly-implemented fine, New York City received a grade of D-, among the lowest scores in the country.

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