Airbnb Tax Agreements Still Leave Questions

    The path to short-term rental legalization and regulation is an arduous and winding one. Airbnb’s strategy to legalize home-sharing is to pay taxes owed to local city, county, and state governments. According to Airbnb’s global head of public policy, the 50 biggest cities in the United States would have collected a total of $200 million in hotel, tourism, and occupancy taxes in 2015 by partnering with Airbnb. But it’s not that simple. Home-sharing platforms do provide an additional stream of income for hosts who are local residents, which, in turn, can help stimulate local economies. However, that doesn’t mitigate the growing number of commercial operators who are using the sites to run, essentially, illegal hotels. While some cities are making it easy for short-term rentals to be regulated, that doesn’t take into account the economic consequences of shifting residential units from housing locals to housing tourists. Other cities like San Francisco and Portland, Ore., which have forged partnerships with Airbnb to collect and remit taxes, are still struggling to get compliance rates up for registering short-term rentals. Hosts who don’t register in cities with short-term rental regulations are not operating within the legal framework of the law. To read more, click here.

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