Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Hillsborough County Tax Collector seals the deal with Airbnb.

 

For Immediate Release:

Hillsborough County Tax Collector seals the deal with Airbnb.

TAMPA, FL – (December 21, 2016) – After many meetings and tireless negotiations, Doug Belden, Hillsborough County Tax Collector seals the deal with Airbnb.

Hillsborough County Tax Collector reached a Voluntary Collection Agreement with Airbnb, which serves as a network that enables people to list or rent short-term lodging in residential properties with the cost of such accommodation set by the property owner.

Belden said, “As an elected official tasked with the collection of tax revenue for Hillsborough County, it’s my job to ensure the best possible outcome for taxpayers and the county.”  The agreement requires Airbnb to collect local tourist taxes for Hillsborough County with transparency and accountability. Airbnb will have to report information on accounts to the tax collector for auditing purposes and to make sure the appropriate taxes are collected.  Belden hopes  this agreement will be adopted throughout other jurisdictions in the state of Florida.

Belden stated, “I am very pleased to announce that Airbnb acquiesced to all the terms; I am a firm believer that if you cannot do the right thing then you just should not do it at all.” The Hillsborough County Tax Collector’s office and Airbnb reached common ground on all points of concern including public records exemptions, waiver of look-back on back taxes, and the process for auditing host accounts.  

The agreement was executed on Tuesday evening and will become effective February 1st, 2017.

“Airbnb and our host community are passionate about cultivating Hillsborough County’s growing tourism industry,” said Tom Martinelli, Airbnb Florida Policy Director. “We’re particularly excited that this brand new tourist tax revenue will infuse new funding for Visit Tampa Bay to continue its mission of marketing Hillsborough to the rest of the world. We are committed to serving as steadfast partners to Mayor Buckhorn, Tax Collector Belden and the rest of this remarkable community.”

"This agreement is yet another way to allow people traveling to the City of Tampa more options to authentically experience our incredibly unique culture and neighborhoods," said Mayor Bob Buckhorn. "I'm proud of this collaboration with Airbnb to enhance Tampa's status as a truly world class city and am excited to work with my Hillsborough County counterparts to put this new tax revenue stream to good use."

If Hillsborough guest arrivals and Airbnb host income were to remain consistent with 2016 numbers, Airbnb projects that, as a result of this agreement, it would collect and remit about $250,000 in new annual tax revenue to Hillsborough County. Airbnb Florida released a statewide report earlier this week documenting strong home sharing growth in the Tampa and Hillsborough communities. In 2016, Hillsborough County hosts earned $5.1 million in supplemental income. Tampa hosts accounted for $4.53 million of the income, with hosts in the suburbs and other Hillsborough communities earning approximately $580,000.

Tampa’s 600 Airbnb hosts welcomed about 32,000 guest arrivals in 2016. That represents 198 percent year over year growth in guest arrivals, one of the highest growth rates of any major American city and far outpacing the Florida statewide rate of 114 percent year-over-year growth in guest arrivals.

Tourist Development Tax Dollars are reinvested into the local economy through the promotion of Hillsborough County as a tourism and convention destination, as well as helping to provide tourism/sports facilities.  In FY2016 Hillsborough County collected $ 29.6 million in bed taxes.

For additional information please contact Doug Belden, Tax Collector at 813.612.6701
For information regarding Airbnb, please contact Ben Breit, Public Affairs Florida at e: benjamin.breit@airbnb.com  or call m: (847) 274-5456

 

 

 

 

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