Government, Real Estate, and Travel & Tourism

Kent County reaches tax agreement with Airbnb

July 18, 2018
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Airbnb, founded in 2008, says it "connects travelers seeking authentic experiences with hosts." Photo via fb.com

Airbnb hosts in Kent County will pay hotel taxes starting next month.

Kent County and San Francisco-based Airbnb announced today a tax agreement authorizing the company to collect hotel taxes on behalf of its Kent County hosts and send the revenue directly to the county.

With the tax agreement in place, Kent County will "fully benefit" from people visiting the region and staying longer through home-sharing.

About 22,000 Airbnb guests experienced Kent County in 2017, up 76 percent from the previous year.

Effective Aug. 1, Airbnb will automatically collect and remit the Kent County Lodging Excise tax (also known as the hotel/motel tax) for taxable bookings, making the process "seamless and efficient" for local Airbnb hosts and the county.

Ken Parrish, Kent County treasurer, said the agreement keeps Airbnb hosts from having to calculate occupancy taxes.

It also simplifies collection and audit processes and “provides transparency and fairness,” he said.

“Our hotel/lodging industry should be treated fair and equitably,” said Wayman Britt, administrator/controller, Kent County. “The arrangement with Airbnb helps in covering the expense for increased tourism and promotes economic well-being for our region.”

Airbnb has partnered with more than 370 local governments throughout the U.S. to collect and remit taxes, including Genesee County.

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