Hillsborough officials look to secure agreement with Airbnb ahead of College football championship

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. - “I knew the college football championship was coming to Tampa, I’ve never rented out my house before,” said Jared Greenbaum.

But like hundreds of other Hillsborough County homeowners, Greenbaum saw the potential to make some extra money by listing his home on Airbnb.

“I was actually pretty surprised at how fast it got booked, I was thinking that it wouldn’t get booked till the new year when the two semifinals were played,” said Greenbaum.

Greenbaum says within a week, his home was rented. Not for chump change either. Greenroom says he’s charging $700 per night.

“We don’t know how many units are being rented in the county, we don’t have that information at hand right now,” said Brenden Chiaramonte with the County Tax Collectors office.

Chiaramonte says the county is determined to make the popular service legal and profitable for everyone. Once that happens the county can begin collecting a five percent bed tax on each rental. He says first they have to agree on two things. One, allow the county to obtain past tax revenues from rentals prior to the agreement.

“We want to make sure we didn’t give up our right to go back and ensure that all the money that was due can be collected,” said Chiaramonte.

Second, he says they want Airbnb to provide balance sheets for each transaction. Something he says Airbnb has agreed to do in other cities like New Orleans.

“It’s our duty to ensure that the money we’re collecting is the money that’s properly allocated for the tax payers,” said Chiaramonte.

As for first time user Greenbaum, he hopes this time, won’t be his last.

“It definitely sounds like both parties can benefit, Tampa’s a huge tourist destination and Airbnb is a website providing a ton of tourists,” said Geenbaum.

County officials are holding a conference call with AirBnb executives Friday and hope to hammer out a majority of the details.

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