Tuesday, 5 April 2022

Letter about airbnb

 Dear Ministry of Finance,

Excuse this email being in English.

Since the new government was elected, my land tax has been raised because of airbnb, my bank accounts inspected for unpaid taxes, and a tax demand made for services fees that are paid to airbnb's bank account in Ireland.

I understand that a certain demographic in Prague is not happy with airbnb, yet in regional areas the innovative service has not really been used much by individual households. 

In the Rokycany area for example 51 apartments are for rent via the service. This is only a small percentage of the total apartments in Rokycany. Through my eyes, it would be better to build more social housing in these regional areas. This would allow elderly people to move to these locations, rather than live in their houses. `This might/would allow families to move into housing areas and free up income for retirement. Currently social housing is less than 3 percent, compared to 35 percent in Holland.

To blame the nationwide housing crisis on people that rent on Airbnb, rather than those that appropriated property illegally in the 90's seems like a political stunt, aimed at grabbing Prague voters. 

Also, it means mostly agents in regional areas will now handle rentals via airbnb and bookings dot com, as the financial office has put so much red tape around the innovative service. Thus it's no-longer innovative. 

Why not tax property agents that rent and aggregate property on airbnb, not individuals who use the service directly. Also, to ask airbnb for taxes on fee's that are sent to Airbnb's account, this seems grossly undemocratic. To me the current policy mostly just reinforces the idea that innovation is not allowed in regional areas. Already in agriculture, due to the actions of the former prime minister/minister of finance in your office, now in housing.

Does the argument have any substance?

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