Short-term vacation rental service Airbnb has "released" a "study" on its vast and benevolent impact on Los Angeles. It's mostly useless marketing stuff, with cherry-picked results and lots of holes in the information (and no mention of methodology at all, except that it was conducted with a firm that describes itself as "a land planning and real estate development economics consulting firm."). But it does offer something useful: the number of people in Los Angeles running Airbnb rentals and a (low on detail) map of those rentals. Here's the press release: "Between May 2013 and April 2014, 4,490 Los Angeles hosts welcomed guests into their homes … Hosts welcomed guests to more than 80 neighborhoods."
The results come as the city of Los Angeles (and many satellite cities) attempt to regulate and tax Airbnbs and other short-term rentals (VRBO, etc.), which violate zoning laws while simultaneously evading hotel taxes. This week, the LA City Council voted to have the Department of Finance send "reminders" to short-term rental hosts that they have to pay the regular 14 percent occupancy tax.
The problem is that the DoF doesn't seem to know how to actually find short-term landlords and isn't sure if any are already paying the tax, according to KPCC. Malibu has resorted to subpoenas to find out who the Airbnbers are in that city. The recent impact report and its spot-filled map are the greatest show of transparency yet from Airbnb.