SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— The operators of the home rental service website, Airbnb, have agreed to pay San Francisco’s hotel tax. The site helps people around the world rent out their homes to travelers.
It’s a move that the travel association said could bring millions of dollars to San Francisco and help the company avoid trouble with regulators.
The San Francisco-based website, which has thousands of listings in the city, plans to add the 14-percent hotel tax as an extra charge on guests’ bills just like hotels do.
San Francisco Travel Association President and CEO Joe D’Allessandro said it’s a real step forward that helps level the playing field with what’s considered a new industry.
“One of the great things with tourism into San Francisco is that tourists pay a lot of taxes that helps support our quality of life. It goes to pay for roads and schools, police protection and parks. The same should be when they stay in an Airbnb home or use those types of services,” he said.
In a blog posting, Airbnb’s head of global public policy David Hantman said the goal is to launch the program for San Francisco this summer and that they want to help their hosts follow the rules.
Legislation is expected to be introduced in San Francisco this month calling for shareable housing regulations since there’s currently a ban on renting residential spaces for less than 30 days.
Airbnb operates out of 34,000 cities worldwide and San Francisco will follow only Portland as the first to collect hotel taxes.