Airbnb agrees to start collecting Hillsborough tax in 2017

Posted at 11:24 AM, Dec 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-21 11:24:45-05

The Hillsborough County Tax Collector has sealed the deal with Airbnb after many meetings and negotiations. 

The agreement between the county and the short-term lodging network requires Airbnb to collect local tourist taxes for Hillsborough County with transparency and accountability. 

Airbnb will be responsible for reporting information on accounts to the tax collector for auditing purposes and to make sure that the right amount of taxes are collected. 

Hillsborough County Tax Collector, Doug 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 agreement will become effective on February 1, 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."

Officials report that if the Airbnb host incomes were to remain the same as 2016's numbers, projections show that the County would collect about $250,000 in new annual tax revenue. In 2016, Tampa's 600 Airbnb hosts brought about 32,000 people to the area. 

Learn more about Airbnb here