De Blasio raises concerns about Airbnb
Mayor Bill de Blasio reiterated some of his concerns about Airbnb on Monday afternoon, after the New York Post reported the rental service was being used to facilitate prostitution.
"I think this is an area we still haven't sorted through, all levels of government haven't sorted through, and we have to get to it," he said in response to a carefully worded question the Post's cover story.
The mayor said he plans to work with colleagues in Albany to tackle some of the issues surrounding the service.
"There are revenue issues, there are security issues, there are issues of law enforcement--all of this needs to be looked at so certainly something we'll be doing on the city level, working with our partners in the state government as well, but it's something I think in general government is grappling with as a new phenomenon," he said after announcing the Macy's fireworks will return to New York this year.
Airbnb has argued that fully legalizing the rental service would generate $21 million in occupancy taxes for the city.
As public advocate and a mayoral candidate, de Blasio spoke out against Airbnb for conflating hotels and residential dwellings.
"The problem with mixing the two on the open market is you are exposing folks in a [residential] building [to] folks who are not part of that system," he had said during a candidate forum in April, 2013.
He also said residents in co-ops, condos and apartment buildings "did not sign up for" the Airbnb setup.