Not for the best of reasons, but we are in the same breath as Barcelona, Spain and Kansas City, Missouri. It's about how the city is trying to stifle airbnb and Uber--the sharing economy.

"As Uber, Lyft, and airbnb expand around the globe, even smaller cities like Grand Rapids are feeling forced to regulate sharing economy businesses.

Big cities such as San Francisco and New York have been confronting the unusual tax and regulatory conundrums posed by sharing economy businesses like Lyft, Uber, and Airbnb for years. Now it’s Grand Rapids’ turn."

Our little burg is one of the "seven hot spots" in the sharing economy.

"Strict new regulations are being proposed for owners who want to rent rooms via airbnb or other short-term services. If accepted, a homeowner would have to pay $291 for a license, the home must be owner-occupied in order to advertise room rentals (i.e., no vacation rentals), and only one room in the home can be rented at a time. Also, the city would grant no more than 200 licenses, and owners would have to notify all neighbors within 300 feet of the property about the rental situation. As tough as these rules seem, they could have been worse: A year ago, Grand Rapids was suggesting that homeowners would have to pay $2,000 for a license to advertise and rent via airbnb."

The debate rages on. Should Grand Rapids embrace these new business models, or should we stick to our old guns and keep them out? Tell me what you think!

Dmitriy Melnikov/ThinkStock
Dmitriy Melnikov/ThinkStock

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