New York firm used bogus profile of guy named 'Anthony' to rent Airbnb units in the North End - and not just on Wednesdays

CommonWealth Magazine reports on the ploy.

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Comments

AirBNB will only make it harder to find housing

One thing that will prop up condo prices and rental rates is the pressure short term rentals will put on the market. The north slope of Beacon Hill has lock boxes all over the place. These are places that are no longer available for Boston residents (unless they want to pay typical AirBNB rates). I have a condo and I get notices from Realtors saying the have all cash buyers and I think a good percentage are just looking for places to rent out AirBNB style.

EDIT:
Commonwealth mag proves my point.
https://commonwealthmagazine.org/economy/airbnb-go...

a “conservative” estimate is that 4,000 housing units in Boston have been removed from the housing inventory and turned into short-term rental units

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Good thing

The number of people seeking lodging in Boston is finite, then.

I wonder why AirBNB is so popular in Boston. Gee, wouldn't be because of that 8.45% Boston hotel tax, now, would it? Vote Democrat again.

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Is Charlie Baker a democrat?

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Is Charlie Baker a democrat? Because he wants to tax AirBNB. You sure do type some nonsense.

Red states don't have issues with AirBNB because they are all hellholes. Just try imagining an international tourist visiting Kansas or Alabama. That would never happen because republican run states are so poor, uneducated and void of culture.

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educate yourself

I let about five of these typical comments of yours go by before I comment on them, but your last sentence is so stupid and subtly racist, that even though I understand you are a troll, I cannot let it pass. New Orleans...void of culture? I guess if you have no interest in jazz. I dare you to go through the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis and not shed a tear when you end in the room where Martin Luther King was shot. Ever hear of the Mississippi Blues trail?

What do you define as culture?

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Charlie Baker is a RINO

Which is effectively a Democrat. Democrat = Republican. 2018, and too many voters still haven't learned that lesson.

Citing our Republican governor does nothing to refute my point about how Democrats overwhelmingly win re-election to state government for no good reason.

As for your Kansas and Alabama points, this is not Universal Kansas. I don't care what they do, this is Boston. I'm not racing Kansas and Alabama to the bottom.

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huh?

Nobody avoids cities based on hotel tax. Lack of hotel rooms driving 'official' prices upwards of $300/night helps drive less expensive air B&B rentals.

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NYC lodging costs

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NYC lodging isn't expensive because of the taxes and you didn't say you avoid NYC because of its taxes. You proved his point.

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Math

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Yeah, that math doesn't really add up. When I had someone from out of town looking for a hotel, he couldn't find anything close to Boston for less than about 300 a night. He found an Air BNB for like 120. 120 + 8.5% isn't 300, it's about 130. People aren't flocking to Air BnB because it's 10 dollars cheaper, they are because it's hundreds cheaper sometimes. The hotels are marking up over 100% past the tax for rooms sometimes. Keep blaming Democrat.

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Slightly different math

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The price difference isn’t as stark as you think, Anon. That $120 rental you see will be higher with each additional person plus it also will carry an $80-100 “cleaning fee” and then $25-30 and some charge a key deposit you won’t get back so your $120 deal is suddenly in the mid-200s before taxes (which will come regardless of Republicans or Democrats) and it’s kind of out of the way down an alley. Better deal? Depends on who’s measuring it but it’s not the “hundreds” in savings you thInk.

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That's a lot of caveats.

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Way to find a scenario where you add in every possible cost. There wasn't a key deposit, it had a code on the door to get in.

Also, it might give you a bunch of optional options, but you want someone to want to rent it. The more you add, the more I'll look for one without a key ransom and giant cleaning deposits.

Also, odds are you might be staying at your room for 2-3 days. That splits the cleaning cost over your whole stay.

Also, you assumed the 120 was the base rate. Maybe that was after everything. It's not implausible. I just looked and saw a room in the north end starting at $59.

It's definitely at least cheaper and not hard to find one that's 100s of dollars cheaper.

The city could start by

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The city could start by assessing owners based on the revenue model (as opposed to the resale model) and by charging owners the commercial property tax rate (2.5%) instead of the residential rate (1.0%) for housing rented out as a short term rental more than, say, 90 days a year.

That would reassess a $500k condo for $800k, and change the tax bill from $5k to $20k.

No it doesn't fix the problem, but it's not unfair, and spreads the wealth a little.

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Clueless

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You have absolutely no idea how commercial and residential taxes are determined and calculated.

Most of that difference is based on classification, not resale v. Revenue. Most commercial properties end up selling for a 50-100% premium to their assessed value. The classification adjustment is why their taxes as a percent of assessed value seem higher. As a percet of ultimate sales value, they are about the same plus/minus a reasonable statistical distribition.

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Legislation needed

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Everyone agrees that some sort of regulation is needed for Airbnb-style rentals. Even Airbnb said they would welcome it. What do we get instead? A hyped-up ban on plastic bags. This is a real and growing problem with a solution that will generate increased tax revenue. Can the state or the city get off their asses and move on this?

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Why would they?

They make a flat rate. They get paid the same whether they tackle big problems or small ones. And this is Boston, so you'll (the royal you) will elect them again anyway.

Same with cops going after massage parlors instead of gun criminals: Why wouldn't you? People (clap) respond (clap) to (clap) incentives. Getting tired of people who understand that being the minority.

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