Uber, Airbnb and Municipalities: Maximizing New Tax and Licensing Revenue Opportunities

Navigating Emerging Legal, Regulatory and Tax Issues in the Peer-to-Peer Economy

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Program Materials

This CLE webinar will help counsel to local governments face the challenges—and leverage the financial and control opportunities—presented by the rise of the “sharing economy.” The panel will address the legal and regulatory issues raised by peer-to-peer businesses like Uber, Lyft, Airbnb and HomeAway. The panel will outline safety, zoning, competition and consumer protection issues, and provide perspectives on leveraging the revenue generating opportunities through taxation and regulatory fees.


The sharing economy—Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, HomeAway—has radically shifted how businesses offer services and continues to grow exponentially. Airbnb’s rooms available worldwide now exceed that of even the largest hotel businesses in the world, with over a million listings. Uber operates in 165 cities in the U.S. and claims to be worth $50 billion. These companies represent never before seen rapid growth for startup businesses in the peer-to-peer economy.

While consumers have eagerly embraced “disruptive businesses,” municipalities face unprecedented challenges from companies offering services that cities currently regulate, license and tax, such as hotels and taxis. These industries allege the new businesses are anti-competitive because they don’t pay the same taxes or licensing fees and aren’t subject to zoning and safety regulations.

The sharing economy raises safety and zoning issues and threatens to deprive local governments of significant revenue. The New York State Attorney General estimates that New York City has lost out on $33 million in unpaid taxes from Airbnb rentals. And in some cities, home sharing threatens to reduce available rental housing stock and drive housing prices up.

Listen as our distinguished panel outlines strategies for local governments to face the challenges—and leverage the opportunities—presented by the rise of the sharing economy. The panel will explore the new revenue streams Uber, Airbnb and other peer-to-peer businesses offer, and discuss legal and regulatory issues and ways to balance the interests of local governments, residents, and established businesses and industries to profit in a 21st century economy.



  1. Overview of ride-sharing issues
  2. Overview of home-sharing issues
  3. Review of recent developments, cases
  4. Enforcing, drafting regulations and ordinances
  5. Strategies for recovering and maximizing revenue


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • How can local governments enforce existing tax codes to maximize revenue?
  • What code enforcement approaches are most effective for minimizing problems associated with short-term rentals?
  • What steps can municipalities take to ensure the safety of residents who use ride-sharing services?
  • Which cities have been successful in adapting current regulatory regimes to fit emerging businesses?


Jordan E.A. Ferguson, Esq.
Jordan E.A. Ferguson, Esq.

Best Best & Krieger

Mr. Ferguson provides legal services to cities, special districts and private clients. He is well-versed in issues...  |  Read More

Christy Gunvalsen
Christy Gunvalsen
Neighborhood Preservation Manager
City of Sunnyvale

In her 19 years of employment with Sunnyvale, Ms. Gunvalsen has worked in a variety of areas including code...  |  Read More

Rebecca L. Moon
Rebecca L. Moon
Senior Assistant City Attorney
City of Sunnyvale

Ms. Moon has been employed by the City of Sunnyvale, California, for 14 years, providing legal advice to city staff and...  |  Read More

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