Airbnb agrees to pay lodging tax revenue to state of Maine


JIM: THIS UNIT IN PORTLAND’S WEST END CAN RENT FOR SEVERAL HUNDRED DOLLARS A NIGHT IN THE SUMMER. IT’S LISTED ON AIR BNB THE POPULAR HOME-SHARING WEBSITE.>>HAS A GO TO THE BATHROOM. JIM: HOST KEN THOMAS HAS 4 UNITS THAT HE RENTS TO OUT-OF TOWN GUESTS,AND SAYS THE TAX COLLECTION PROCEDURES WERE CONFUSING SO NOW AIRBNB HAS AGREEMENT TO COLLECT A 9 LODGING FROM THE RENTERS AND PASS THAT MONEY ON TO T STATE, HE SAYS IT WILL BE EASIER. THOMAS SAYS THAT’S THEY WAY IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN FROM THE BEGINNING, INSTEAD OF SLAPPING THE TAX ON THE HOSTS. HE SEES THE NEW VOLUARY COLLECTION AGREEMENT BETWEEN AIR BNB AND THE STATE A WIN-WIN.>>ESSENTIALLY THIS TAX IS REALLY A TAX ON THE GUEST. SO THERE’S BEEN A LOT OF CONFUSION ABOUT WHO’S RESPONSIBLE FOR IT AND AT THIS POINT WE’RE REALLY HAPPY TO SEE CLATY AND A FIELD THAT IS UNDENIABLY LEVEL. JIM: SHORT TERM RENTALS HAVE BECOME BIG BUSINESS IMAINE IN — MAINE. AIR BNB PROVIDINGHESE NUMBERS TO MAINE’S OFFICE OF TOURISM IN 2016 THERE WERE 3700 AIR BNB HOSTS IN THE STATE. THEY COLLECTED $26 MILLION FROM SHORT TERM RENTAND IF THE LODGING TAXES WERE COLLECD IT WOULD HAVE ADDED $2.3 MILLION TO THE STATE COFFER HOTELS AND BEDND BREAKFASTS HAVE LONG COMPLAINED THAT THIS UNEVEN TAX COLLECTION ON THE PART OF AIRBNB, HAS GIVEN IT AN UNFAIR ADVANTAGE, WELL NOW THE SAY THIS VOLUNTARY COLLECTION AGREEMENT WHICH WILL KICK-IN APRIL FIRST WILL FINALLY LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD.

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