As of February 1st, Historic City News learned that Airbnb, one of the world’s largest marketplaces for unique, authentic places to stay and things to do, had entered into agreements to collect and remit local bed taxes on behalf of its hosts in Volusia and Clay counties. St Johns County Tax Collector Dennis Hollingsworth represents one of a minority of counties who refuse to sign.
Since 2015, Airbnb has had an agreement with the Florida Department of Revenue to collect and remit the statewide 6% Florida Transient Rental Tax. Airbnb now has agreements in place in 44 of Florida’s 63 counties who levy local bed taxes on rentals of 182-nights, and shorter. The platform reported welcoming 6.6 million travelers to the Sunshine State last year; earning supplemental income for its Florida host community of about $1.2 billion.
“We’re proud to continue growing our tax collection partnerships in Florida and ensure that counties can enjoy the valuable revenue that vacation rentals bring to the area,” said Tom Martinelli, Airbnb’s Florida Policy Director.
Martinelli says that collecting and remitting taxes in Florida can be incredibly complicated. The rules were designed for traditional hospitality providers and large hotel corporations with teams of lawyers and accountants. For this reason, Airbnb has partnered with over 400 local governments throughout the U.S. to collect and remit taxes, making the process seamless and easy for hosts to pay their fair share while contributing new revenue for local governments.
The agreement joins two other neighboring counties with numerous other counties and the State in fully benefiting from people visiting via Florida Airbnb listings. In Florida, county bed taxes are largely used to fund local tourism marketing ventures, which means this revenue is helping counties to better brand themselves globally as family-friendly tourist destinations.
Airbnb says that they offer over 7 million accommodations and 40,000 handcrafted activities, all powered by local hosts. Airbnb says they have helped millions of hospitality entrepreneurs monetize their spaces and their passions while keeping the financial benefits of tourism in their own communities.