Location: Madison, Wisconsin, United States

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Solutions and Fairness

In Isthmus this week, there's an article (link) about Bed and Breakfasts, and one of the things they talk about is -- a site I'd never heard of before that matches people with rooms in their houses with people traveling to a town to stay. Airbnb is apparently not legal in Madison (How they would enforce this? I don't know).

The Isthmus article notes a concern that airbnb is not fair. So naturally, Madison alders want to regulate users (landlords) of airbnb. It's a question of Fairness and the Regulatory Nature of Madison. B&Bs are licensed and regulated, and contribute taxes to the city (So do Hotels and Motels) Here's my question to alders:

Why not level the playing field by removing regulation and licensing of Hotels and Motels and B&Bs? What does the consumer get from City Regulation that they cannot get from, or other similar online reviews? I understand the zoning issue (although I may not particularly agree with it; how is a revolving door of renters different from, say, a person with a large family that is perpetually visiting?).

It seems like the solution in Madison is always more Government -- more regulation, more oversight. In this case, I don't see how it is needed. Streamline the Government by getting rid of the oversight of Hotels/B&Bs/airbnbs and let Private Industry reviews -- that are widespread -- work.


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