Readers React

Airbnb worsens Santa Monica's housing shortage

To the editor: The Times has accurately described Santa Monica's new vacation-rental law as a deterrent against those who've deprived our city of much-needed permanent housing by converting apartments into unregulated hotels. ("Wrong way on Airbnb," editorial, April 30)

However, your editorial mischaracterizes our requirement that Airbnb report bookings, using fanciful conjecture about automakers reporting speeders.

Airbnb rentals involve business transactions, on which transient occupancy tax is due, and cities have for many years been authorized to audit businesses to see if proper taxes have been accurately calculated and collected. We are not asking for, nor do we have interest in, private data on guests or how fast they drive.

Kevin McKeown, Santa Monica

The writer is mayor of Santa Monica.

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