Airbnb Still Doesn’t Understand Local Tax

I collect hotel occupancy tax for the City of Galveston, Texas. We have a state tax rate of 6% and a local rate of 9% for a total of 15%. Without notice, in May of 2017, Airbnb began collecting and remitting only the state tax (6%). Additionally, Airbnb did not give owners a way to collect the local tax as part of the guest’s transaction. Owners would contact the guests and explain they would be charged an additional 9% upon arrival. Not only did the Airbnb reps lie to owners that Airbnb was collecting and remitting all taxes, but their reps lied to guests that there was no local tax to be paid. VRBO did the same thing in April 2019. We need to make this nightmare go away.

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  1. You may not want to believe it, because being angry and throwing darts is easier. The Airbnb rep for Texas is Collin Ronan. I’ve met and spoken with him many times. Look him up, he’ll tell you the truth.

  2. They do care, and they’ve reached out to cities across Texas. I really don’t think you know what you’re talking about.

  3. Why are you bashing Airbnb? You’re a host. Do your homework. Airbnb “understands” local tax. I live in TX too. Airbnb signed an agreement with the state of TX to collect the state tax. Local taxes are under local jurisdiction, which need separate agreements. The cities are responsible for signing those agreements with Airbnb, and Airbnb has reached out to individual cities, which won’t sign them for several reasons. The taxes are remitted in a lump sum, which isn’t acceptable to cities which have permitting and require detailed reports. Further, Airbnb requires cities to forgive back taxes upon signing the agreement. We are working hard as hosts to get our cities to sign with Airbnb, which is automatic 100% compliance. I suggest you do the same. There’s a group of STR owners organized in Galveston, The Short Term Rental Owners Association of Galveston, and this is perfect for their agenda. See, and get to work!

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