Airbnb’s racism problem is much bigger than a few racist hosts.
David Robinson
1.2K126

AirBnB has a racism problem?? I would argue that California’s real estate tax structure(prop 13), and their anti-development regulations at the local and state level are far more harmful to the poor and minorities than a few people trying to become landlords. For those unfamiliar with California, under prop 13, real estate taxes are only 1% of the value, and there are strict limits over how much your taxes can go up every year. You can have two houses side by side, and the guy who just moved in will pay three times more in RE taxes than his neighbor who’s lived there twenty years. Getting a building permit is a nightmare, and costs an arm and a leg. The low RE taxes force government entities to come up with a thousand other ways to extract revenue from the populace, and most of those methods are far more regressive, disproportionately impacting the poor and minority. The entire structure is built around a “me first” attitude, subsidizing well entrenched long term citizens, preventing new housing from “blighting” their neighborhoods, new streets or highways from encouraging people to commute, development rules that artificially limit supply improving returns for existing owners. I worked in Mountainview for a year. Driving around from Stanford all the way up to an Francisco felt like being on a giant movie set from the fifties or sixties. Tens of thousands of homes and buildings that would have long ago been remodeled or replaced or repurposed in most other cities are still there. It sounds nice, but it means billions and billions of job creating dollars are never invested in the area, and the total interior space available, the living area, is far far lower. Consequently the standard of living for anyone without a six figure income is shockingly lower than for similar people in other communities.

Faulting AirBnB or wanna be landlords for a situation deliberately created by government action is grossly unfair.

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