While Austin Fights Against the Sharing Economy, Dallas Embraces It

Austin has quite the contempt for Uber, trying its best to better regulate the sharing economy model that taxicabs and the like cannot compete with. Most recently, the Austin City Council voted to force drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft to undergo fingerprint-based background checks even under threat of abandoning the city. Now, Austin is taking on Airbnb.

This week, as reported by Billy Utt of AustinInno, the Austin City Council in a 9-2 vote decided to prohibit Type 2 short-term rentals stating that homeowners who do not live in their home cannot rent it out for 30 days or less. The result of this vote may have far-reaching effects on start-ups in Austin, particularly those on-demand companies serving the region.

Mike Maples, one of Austin’s greatest Silicon Valley supporters, has decided to institute a policy and not have Floodgate invest in on-demand companies in the city due to the hostile local environment.

Austin’s reaction to Uber, Lyft and Airbnb stands in stark contrast to Dallas from the partnership of American Airlines with Uber to make it easier for those using the airport to get around town to the overhaul of transportation regulations to create an even playing field based on consumer choice, not government protectionism of taxicabs.

Meanwhile, when it comes to Dallas’ relationship with Airbnb, there currently are no regulations limiting short-term rentals, with the City Council never putting the issue to a vote. The only regulation that should be observed, but largely goes ignored, is the need to pay city and state hotel taxes for stays shorter than 30 days.

The differences in environments for the sharing economy between Austin and Dallas could not be more stark. Austinites looking to build apps that leverage the sharing economy should move to Dallas — we have 7 million consumers to help build the business.

Photo source: Pixabay

Blog post by: Harmony Tapper

Staff Writer