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Thu., March 20, 2014

Don’t tax Airbnb

Julia Sweeney’s quote (March 10) about hotel and Airbnb guests seeking different experiences, therefore leaving hotels no reason to feel threatened, is spot on.

As a person who has frequently sought off-the-beaten-path travel accommodations, I have used Airbnb six times over the last eight months with nothing but glowing reviews. I have stayed with people in their homes and also rented out entire properties, and each time I was given a unique experience of the city unattainable from a hotel. I want to support individuals instead of corporations, and am willing to trade some comforts for that opportunity. Many other travelers are not, and will continue to use hotels despite other options.

Forcing Airbnb hosts to pay the same taxes as hotels is ridiculous. Renting one room or property could never produce the type of income that an entire hotel could, nor could the handful of rooms available in Spokane really threaten the livelihood of large-scale businesses. We clearly have enough tourists to support building another Walt Worthy-owned hotel downtown. Please don’t push out the unique experience that Airbnb provides by tacking on taxes that owners can’t pay.

Danielle Hughes


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