First, Airbnb agreed to pay hotel taxes in Portland. Then it moved to do the same in San Francisco. The startup is now working to pass legislation in New York State that would allow it to collect a 14.7% hotel tax from hosts beginning July 1.
“New York will lose millions of dollars because current tax law prevents Airbnb from collecting and remitting occupancy related taxes on behalf of our hosts and guests,” wrote Airbnb’s head of global public policy, David Hantman, in a blog post. “Our community wants to pay its fair share, and we want to help.”
Last May, New York City officials ruled parts of Airbnb’s service illegal, saying it violated a law prohibiting residents from renting out their property for fewer than 29 days. If Albany changes its laws, Airbnb says it could contribute more than $21 million to state coffers.