After a data dump revealed that more than half of all Airbnb users in NYC are technically breaking the law by renting out their entire apartments on the home-sharing website, state legislators have introduced a bill that would make it illegal for New Yorkers to post ads for entire apartments on Airbnb.

The bill carries up to $7,500 in fines for those who advertise such units.

Airbnb, in return, has taken up a well-worn argument, accusing New York legislators of suppressing the middle class.

"At a time when economic inequality is a defining issue ... we believe we should be looking for ways to support the right of middle class New Yorkers to share what is typically their greatest expense, the cost of their housing, and generate supplemental income," said the company in a letter to State Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, who is sponsoring the bill.

Rosenthal has clarified that her new legislation is intended to crack down on large-scale illegal hoteliers.

"What this bill is targeting is people or companies with multiple listings," she told the News earlier this week. "There are so many units held by commercial operators, not individual tenants. They are bad actors who horde multiple units, driving up the cost of housing around them and across the city."

The state's 2010 Multiple-Dwelling Law prohibits New Yorkers from renting out entire apartments for under 30 days if the tenant on the lease is not present.

New York's City Council has long argued that Airbnb—which had 30,483 active units in NYC as of September 1st—should be transparent about New Yorkers who use the platform to operate illegal hotels. Unlike the cheery couples renting a spare room in Airbnb subway ads, these operators, they say, jeopardize the safety of longterm tenants and snatch up a significant portion of the city's already-dwindling affordable housing stock to farm money from tourists.

Legislation introduced at the city level would instate steep fines for the operation of an illegal hotel, but legislators argue that outlawing the advertising might be more efficient, as it would get in the way of tourists finding out about the rentals in the first place.

Rosenthal's bill would also require landlords to inform tenants in their leases that they "may be breaking the law" by using Airbnb, according to her office.

Last fall, a report from Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office found that from 2010 through early June of 2014, $168.3 million, or 37% of revenue generated by Airbnb hosts, came from hosts with three or more listings.

Airbnb's own recent assessment turned up much different numbers—from November of 2014 through November of this year, according to the startup, only 6% of host revenue came from those who had three or more listings.

The data was anonymized, however, prompting Councilmember Helen Rosenthal to dub it "a useless disclosure that will do nothing to curb illegal hotels and tenant harassment."

"As we have stated many times, Airbnb is committed to working with New York's elected officials to fight illegal hotel operators who turn dozens of apartment into hotel rooms," wrote Airbnb in its letter to Rosenthal. Adding, "Rather than seeking to impose fines that could lead to bankruptcies… of New York families… we should be working together."

"Claims by Airbnb that it cares about hardworking New Yorkers are laughable given that many tenants who use the site will face steep fines and even eviction," said Rosenthal in statement, revealing confidence in her proposal.

Earlier she told the News, "Airbnb is really helping big commercial operators, not middle class families, and those big commercial operators are robbing the middle class of affordable housing."