Airbnb says bounded hosts fabricated $8.8 actor from almost 64,800 bedfellow arrivals in 2017.
That’s a appealing penny. But what was St. Johns County’s take?
The canton has no acceding with the California-based accommodation behemothic apropos the accumulating and remitting of bed tax, but that doesn’t beggarly the canton has no added recourse.
County Attorney Patrick McCormack told The Record on Friday these taxes are still due and can still be collected.
“There’s not a claim to accept a arrangement or an acceding with Airbnb to aggregate these,” he said. “These acreage owners are accountable to pay for those.”
Four percent of the $8.8 actor amount provided by Airbnb works out to aloof over $350,000.
A chase on Airbnb’s website for two guests, anytime, in St. Johns Canton yields 300-plus results, which accommodate absolute homes and apartments, or clandestine apartment and suites — alike sailboats. But it’s cryptic what the “plus” in “300-plus” means. Additionally, addresses for the backdrop listed are not provided until booked.
Search after-effects for listings in the canton announce an boilerplate nightly amount of $162 with options able-bodied beneath and aloft that amount point. Applying the 4 percent bed tax to the boilerplate works out to about $6.48 per night that should be remitted to the county.
St. Johns Canton Tax Beneficiary Dennis Hollingsworth didn’t accept any abstracts at the accessible on Friday apropos how abounding Airbnb-listed backdrop (or added backdrop listed with added sharing-economy sites) accept been articular in St. Johns Canton or how abundant those backdrop accept paid. He told The Record that best of the acreage owners his appointment has gotten in blow with accept been accommodating and absorbed in accomplishing things “the appropriate way.”
The canton had advised aing a chic activity clothing to be brought by some Florida counties adjoin Airbnb in 2016, but was ultimately not a affair to that litigation, which is about gluttonous a claim for Airbnb to acknowledge advice on accommodating backdrop and added specifics to ensure able accumulating and use of bounded bed taxes.
“We accept an accountability affair here,” McCormack said. “You appetite to apperceive area that money is advancing from.”
Airbnb is accustomed to aggregate and pay the accompaniment sales tax on all bookings in Florida. The aggregation additionally collects and pays bounded bed taxes in 39 counties. In 2017 alone, Airbnb anchored new tax agreements with six counties: Miami-Dade, Broward, Sarasota, Polk, Hillsborough and Leon.
In counties with agreements, hosts aggregate and pay annihilation and Airbnb collects and remits the taxes, paid by guests as allotment of their reservation, on their behalf, but after accouterment advancement to counties on area that money is advancing from. Elsewhere, it’s up to the host to accomplish abiding they’re on able basement with the bounded demanding authorities.
Hollingsworth said his capital affair is actuality fair and equitable, which he said is article he can’t acceding in lieu of any advancement for Airbnb or added sharing-economy companies.
He said addition with a address absolution could be renting out a allowance and not cogent anyone and not advantageous the tax (and befitting his or her absolution absolutely intact), admitting addition abroad with a address absolution who is renting out a allowance but arena by the rules could be advantageous the tax and accident all or a allotment of his or her exemption.
“They debris to accommodate the anecdotic advice of the taxpayers they’re accession for,” Hollingsworth said of Airbnb. “That’s aloof not fair. If I’m renting and don’t pay and you’re renting and pay, again what affectionate of tax beneficiary do we accept if he’s axis his arch and not actuality fair and candid by all?”
He said added Florida counties assume to accept accustomed Airbnb’s acceding with a better-than-nothing attitude.
“My attitude is, I like a acceptable fight,” Hollingsworth said. “We allegation to accommodated on alternate area and either the legislators can change the law so that everyone’s actuality advised fair or accomplish (the Florida Department of Revenue) accede with the law that’s already on the books.”
Both Hollingsworth and McCormack said the canton is attractive at means to assignment about the barriers. They talked about the achievability of hiring a third affair bell-ringer to clue bottomward the information, if the amount is right. As Hollingsworth said, if companies are attractive for as abundant as $100,000 or so to accommodate the advice the canton needs to accomplish abiding it’s appropriately accession a brace hundred thousand dollars, is it account the trouble?
“You’re accursed if you do, accursed if you don’t with some of these positions,” he said. “But I’m aggravating to do what’s fair by everyone.”
Hollingsworth and McCormack said while Airbnb has garnered agreements with 39 counties, that leaves St. Johns Canton in the aforementioned baiter with added than two dozen added counties including Monroe, Palm Beach and Bay counties as able-bodied as adjacent counties such as Duval and Volusia. (Flagler County’s bed tax, as able-bodied as that of 23 added counties, is administered by the state, which has an acceding with the company.)
Airbnb does say on its website some hosts are appropriate by their bounded regulations to allegation a tax.
“We acclaim they accommodate the tax in the amount of the reservation, but some may crave the tax to be paid anon aloft check-in,” the aggregation says. “We ask that hosts explain any taxes they may be appropriate to aggregate in their advertisement description and their advice with guests above-mentioned to booking.”
“In some locations, Airbnb has fabricated agreements with government admiral to aggregate and address assertive bounded taxes on account of hosts,” the aggregation continues. “The taxes alter … Back you book a advertisement in one of these locations, the bounded taxes calm will be displayed automatically back you pay and arise on your cancellation already your catch is confirmed.”
In the meantime, it doesn’t arise the accommodation behemothic is activity anywhere anytime soon.
Altogether, the state’s Airbnb hosts becoming $450 actor from 2.7 actor bedfellow arrivals in 2017, appearance a cogent access over aftermost year’s figures. Miami-Dade County, area hosts fabricated $134.6 million, saw the accomplished cardinal of bedfellow arrivals in 2017, at 667,200.
According to the company, there are now about 40,000 Floridians administration their homes or vacation rentals through Airbnb, with hosts earning an boilerplate of $6,700 annually.
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