The online housing rental platform will collect tourist taxes

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San Francisco-based housing-rental platform also commits to promote tourism and economic growth in areaWithout payment responsibility on hosts, county tax revenue expected to increaseAirbnb agreed to new user tax structure with the state last yearGenesee County is the first local government in Michigan with which San Francisco-based Airbnb has made a tax agreement.The online housing rental platform will collect tourist taxes on behalf of hosts and pay the resulting revenue to the county, Airbnb announced Tuesday in a news release.The company will automatically collect the 5 percent Genesee Accommodations Tax for room bookings as of June 1, according to the release.Airbnb made a similar agreement with the state of Michigan last June. It collects for and sends tax revenue to 370 municipalities and other local governments in the United States.”in every single one … it has meant new revenue that wasn’t coming in before,” said Ben Breit, Airbnb’s Midwest spokesman.The move shifts responsibility for taxes being paid by guests from the hosts www.kmerksemsc.be kmerksemsc , who earn money renting out the rooms, to Airbnb. Remitting the taxes to the government correctly can be difficult for hosts who aren’t trained accountants or familiar with hotel regulations, Breit said.”For us, specifically, the increase, no matter what it is in terms of tax revenue, is very helpful for the county,” Genesee County Treasurer Deb Cherry said. “They’re very excited about being a part of Genesee County, so I’m hopeful that as they get more involved, there’ll also be more (businesses or) bed and breakfast groups that may want to be part of Airbnb. That would be good for our community.”Along with the tax payment change, Airbnb has committed to promote tourism and economic growth in Flint and the greater county area under its Office for Healthy Tourism, Breit said. No specific plans were available.Genesee County currently has 60 active listings on the rental website, he said. Around 1,300 guests stayed with Airbnb in the county in 2017, a 60 percent increase from 2016. Breit declined specify any other local governments with which the 10-year-old room-rental company is working on agreements.Under the deal with the state of Michigan, Airbnb collects a 6 percent user tax and pays it directly to the government. It has paid “millions” in taxes to Michigan since June, Breit said. An official count is expected to come out around the one-year mark.”Part of the goal of starting with the state government was being able to spread the word to every county or city that has their own tax that pertains to short-term lodging to let them know we want to partner with everyone,” Breit said.Hotels and local governments have pushed back against Airbnb, including in Michigan. Some hotels see it as a new and disruptive force to their business models — and one that doesn’t play by the same rules. Communities say short-term rentals have created myriad problems, from parking to noise.Airbnb has also worked with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s office over a ban on certain Airbnb rentals in owner-occupied homes in the city. The zoning law change City Council made last fall, unbeknown to Duggan’s administration, was pending a legal review as of February.

Airbnb to collect tourist tax for Genesee County — a first in Michigan

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