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Airbnb Will Start Collecting a Hotel Tax in DC

by UrbanTurf Staff

image
An Airbnb rental in DC.

Airbnb will get more expensive in DC starting in mid-February.

On Friday, the fast-growing, short-term rental business announced that it would start collecting a hotel levy from its DC guests. Beginning February 15, guests who book Airbnb listings that are located in DC will pay a hotel tax that will amount to 14.5 percent of the listing price of a rental. This likely means that DC Airbnb rentals are going to become markedly more expensive.

As UrbanTurf has previously reported, Airbnb, which allows people to rent out all or part of their homes to short-term renters, has spent much of its life fending off accusations from the hotel industry that it is avoiding taxes.

“We know that our community has already contributed substantial positive economic benefits in each of our communities, and this is just one more step in helping our hosts make their neighborhoods stronger,” David Hantman, the company’s head of lobbying said.

DC is just the latest city where Airbnb has decided to start levying the tax. In April, the company started collecting a hotel tax in San Francisco and shortly before that, the tax was instituted in Portland, Oregon. UrbanTurf looked at the regulatory issues surrounding Airbnb in DC in an article back in early 2014.

The move to collect a tax is a sign that DC, where the number of Airbnb guests rose 130 percent in 2013, may be taking steps toward legitimizing the service in the city.

See other articles related to: airbnb taxes, airbnb

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/airbnb_will_start_collecting_a_hotel_tax_in_dc/9473

2 Comments

  1. Paul S said at 3:36 pm on Friday January 30, 2015:

    Charging the 14.5% hotel tax on airbnb rentals is ridiculous. The district government routinely bends over for hotels and gives them tons of tax breaks/credits/etc. See the new Marriott Marquis by the convention center for a prime example of this. The hotel tax is just a means of passing the buck on those tax breaks for big hotel corporations directly to the consumer. The person renting a room on airbnb gets no such tax breaks so why are they taxed the same?

    While I understand the status quo of no tax at all was not equitable either… the taxation level should have been at the sales tax level (6%) not the hotel tax level (14.5%).

  1. jf said at 5:04 pm on Friday January 30, 2015:

    Does this mean that airbnb hosts don’t have report airbnb profits as personal income since their service is being taxed as a hotel? Also, are airbnb hosts provided the same protections as hotels since they are being treated as such?

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