PORTLAND, Ore. - (Update: Comment from Redmond mayor, officials)
Central Oregon is a hot tourist spot, and Redmond wants to make sure it has a place at the table. The city has just reached a room tax collection agreement with Airbnb, following in the footsteps of about 20 other Oregon cities, including Bend.
The deal will allow Airbnb to collect the 9 percent room tax on the property being rented. Then, every month, Airbnb will turn over the money it has collected to the city, Jodi Burch, Redmond's deputy director of central services, said Tuesday.
"The city's code for transient lodging tax requires that the host or hotel would remit, and so individual hosts had the responsibility to collect and remit transient lodging tax. And it's a paperwork burden for those individuals," she said. "So with Airbnb collecting on behalf of those hosts, it will really streamline the process,"
The arrangement puts Airbnb on an equal playing field with hotels and addresses the problem of individual tax reporting.
Redmond Mayor George Endicott said he wants the city to keep up with the region's tourism trends.
"One of the issues that we've all been dealing with is, what do you do about the internet sales for rooms to rent without outfits similar to and, in fact, including Airbnb," he said. "Because they do, of course, do online reservations and, of course, the brick-and-mortar that we have over this way, that's easy to collect from -- but how do you do it online? So it's a major step forward for us."
The money collected will go into the same pot as the rest of the transient lodging tax. Officials said they expect to get about $500 a month from the taxes Airbnb collects.
Last year, Redmond collected $885,000 from the transient lodging tax overall.
To compare, the city of Bend collected $810,000 in transient lodging taxes from Airbnb alone over the past 12 months.
Airbnb, which claims to be "the world’s leading community-driven hospitality company," announced Tuesday it has begun collecting and remitting room taxes on behalf of its community in the cities of Redmond and Tigard, bringing the total number of jurisdictions with similar agreements in Oregon to 21.
Airbnb has remitted $10.1 million to state, local and county governments in Oregon over the past 12 months, according to its Tuesday news release, the rest of which follows.
In 2014, Airbnb worked with the City of Portland on a historic agreement to allow the company to voluntarily collect and remit the city’s transient lodging tax. The agreement was the first of its kind for Airbnb. Now, there are more than 310 jurisdictions around the world where Airbnb has collected and remitted more than $300 million in hotel and tourist taxes.
Collecting and remitting hotel taxes can complicated for members of our host community. The rules were designed for traditional hospitality providers and large hotel corporations with teams of lawyers and accountants. Voluntary collection agreements make the process easy for hosts while contributing new revenue to communities around the state. Guests are charged the appropriate taxes on their Airbnb bill and the company then remits those taxes to the city, county or state.
Airbnb began collecting and remitting the 9% Transient Lodging Tax on all eligible bookings in Redmond on November 1.
Redmond Mayor George Endicott stated, "Tourism brings important revenues to our city and we are grateful for this partnership with Airbnb that simplifies the collection process for hosts and guests. We have so much to offer visitors, from hikes to hunting and fishing to an exciting downtown with shops and eateries. It is great that our own residents are so engaged in welcoming tourists to the region.”
“We look forward to working with more Oregon officials around the state to establish programs for collecting and remitting tourist taxes, helping them realize the economic benefits of home sharing, and strengthening the cities and communities that Airbnb hosts call home,” said Laura Spanjian, Airbnb Public Policy Director, Northwest.
These agreements are a win-win for governments and for Airbnb’s host community. Here are just some ways Oregon communities are using taxes generated from home sharing:
- Portland uses this revenue for land acquisition and long term financing for affordable housing through the sale of interim financing bonds, such as the recently approved purchase of land to build between 100-300 units in southeast Portland.
- Klamath County uses this revenue to support tourism, the Klamath County Fairgrounds and museums.
- Eugene uses this revenue to help fund its Cultural Services programs and to support tourism and visitor programs.
- Lane County uses this revenue for tourism promotion.
For families in Oregon, Airbnb makes it possible to pay their bills, stay in their homes and make ends meet. Airbnb is democratizing travel by creating an affordable way for travelers to authentically explore every corner of the world. To date, there have been more than 200 million guest arrivals in Airbnb listings around the globe, including 637,000 in Oregon last year.
Full list of Oregon jurisdictions where Airbnb is collecting and remitting taxes
State of Oregon, Klamath County, Lane County, Multnomah County, Tillamook County, Washington County, Bay City, Beaverton, Bend, Coos Bay, Cottage Grove, Eugene, Florence, Hillsboro, Lincoln City, Newport, Portland, Redmond, Seaside, Springfield and Tigard.
Airbnb’s mission is to create a world where people can belong anywhere when they travel by being connected to local cultures and having unique travel experiences. Today, Airbnb is the world’s leading community-driven hospitality company, with 4 million listings in 65,000 cities and more than 191 countries. Since the company’s founding in 2008, there have been over 200 million total guest arrivals at Airbnb listings around the world.