The City of Venice signs on to Gruppo 25 Aprile’s appeal to regulate Airbnb type rentals

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Together with 10 other cities Venice has requested that the EU require platforms that advertise short term rentals on the web to respect local and national laws regarding registration

22 June 2019

Zero tolerance for the out of control spread of Airbnb, tourist room rentals and short term property rentals. This is a sentiment shared by the citizens of Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Bordeaux, Brussels, Cracow, Monaco, Paris, Valencia and Vienna, and now Florence and Venice. Gruppo 25 Aprile and the Progetto Firenze association have requested that their respective cities sign on to the letter sent to the European Parliament and to the EU Commission asking for some control over the platforms that advertise these short term rentals. On Saturday Commissioner Michele Zuin confirmed that the City of Venice would participate in the appeal.

The request from 25 Aprile

“The Administrations of ten European cities (Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Bordeaux, Brussels, Cracow, Monaco, Paris, Valencia and Vienna) have released a joint statement addressed to the European Parliament and the EU Commission requesting the power to regulate platforms that advertise short-term rentals on the web in such a way as to compel them to cooperate with local and national governments and to comply with the current laws regarding registration, making information about landlords available, and meeting tax obligations.

The initiative is in response to the non-binding opinion expressed by the Attorney General of the European Court of Justice, which is that, according to the regulations and directives of the EU, Airbnb should be considered a provider of digital information rather than a traditional real estate agent. If this status was recognized by the Court, online platforms for short-term rentals would be relieved of any obligation to comply with laws introduced by various European cities to regulate short-term rentals and contain the tourist gentrification of entire quarters and cities.

The undersigned associations and individuals, committed to the defense of the cities of Art and of those who live there, call on the Mayors of Florence and of Venice, whose residents are facing these same problems, to promptly join the appeal of their European counterparts.”

Taxation

“We have joined this appeal because there is a widespread problem with transparency in the transactions and revenue of these Airbnb,” said Commissioner Zuin. “Two years ago  – Zuin explained – the GeoIDS portal was launched; it is a system of control and verification, in cooperation with the Guardia di Finanzia, which has allowed us not only to locate the tourist properties such as Bed and Breakfasts, the room rentals, hotels, but has also allowed citizens to alert the administration of cases of illegal rentals or unregistered situations. In two years we have had 900 calls. This activity is a tool for uncovering undeclared rentals and to allow the collection of more occupancy taxes. However, for Airbnb there is a problem with taxation, given that they have practically no legal ties with the countries in which they operate, and even less so as regards tax collection”. Nevertheless this is a multi-billion Euro per year business, which Europe should control and regulate.

Source: Venezia Today


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