This is already happening.
Dinie Halim
22

Hi Dinie, Airbnb remits taxes in only a handful of cities where it is operating. And only where enough political pressure has been brought to bear. The company does nothing in this regard unless city officials force them. Or look at it this way: with 34,000 cities having been Airbnb’ed, at the rate that Chesky is adding cities to which he is paying taxes it will take him about two decades to reach them all. Can you imagine the global outcry if a chemical company like Dupont, or auto companies like Toyota and Ford, or Microsoft or Apple or any other global corporation followed the Airbnb example: “We’ll set up operations first, and we will pay taxes and follow the laws in your city/country when we can get to it. See you in 2025.” WTF???? Why should Airbnb be entitled to such a pass? Airbnb excuses itself by to saying “Poor us, there are so many local and national laws, it takes time to figure it all out.” But every other global corporation faces the same challenge — they don’t start operating in those locations UNTIL they have it figured out. Airbnb (and Uber, and other sharing econ companies) do it exactly the opposite — “we’ll start operating now, and only figure it out later if we get in trouble with the authorities.” Is that really the type of corporate behavior that we want to encourage? Imagine if all corporations acted this way. Airbnb, Uber etc are encouraging a kind of “cheating culture” in which companies as well as private citizens (such as Airbnb hosts) try to evade the law as well as paying taxes. Of course, a certain amount of that has always gone on, but how much can a society tolerate before it starts undermining other good things about this collective enterprise known as “governance”? Not to mention that the anti-tax, anti-regulation companies of the sharing economy feed into the far right, anti-tax agenda of Republican operatives like Grover Norquist, who once famously said he wanted to shrink government to the point where he could drown it in the bathtub. Norquist has praised the sharing economy, in part for how it fits so well into the Republican right’s agenda. WTF???