Airbnb will collect occupancy tax for Orleans County starting today

Staff Reports Posted 1 June 2018 at 12:16 pm

ALBION – Starting today Airbnb has finalized a new agreement with Orleans County, where the company will collect a 4 percent occupancy tax for rooms, cottages and houses that are rented in the county through Airbnb.

There are currently 33 Airbnb sites in Orleans, with many of them along Lake Ontario. Click here to see the sites in Orleans County listed through Airbnb.

Rather than have the individual sites send the occupancy tax to the county treasurer, Airbnb will take care of it.

“It doesn’t cost the county any money and really just brings us money,” said Kim DeFrank, the county treasurer.

Airbnb now collects and remits taxes to 21 counties statewide. Airbnb has remitted over $1.7 million in hotel and motel room taxes since reaching the first agreement with Tompkins County in July 2016. Airbnb remitted over $1 million in hotel and motel room tax revenue in 2017 alone, the company said.

In addition, Airbnb supports legislation currently under consideration in the New York State legislature (A7520/S7182) that would extend existing sales and hotel and motel room taxes to short-term rentals and authorize platforms like Airbnb to collect and remit such taxes statewide.

This would bring in close to $100 million in the first year alone, the company said. In addition, this bill would ensure that responsible New Yorkers can continue to share their home while addressing public safety concerns and targeting bad actors, including providing a 24/7 hotline for concerned neighbors and requiring that hosts carry a minimum of $250,000 in insurance.

“Airbnb is an economic mobilizer for everyone, from families sharing their home to make ends meet, to the small businesses benefitting from more guests shopping and eating locally – and now to Orleans County, which will join 20 other county governments statewide in receiving a new source of tax revenue from home sharing,” said Josh Meltzer, head of New York Public Policy for Airbnb. “We hope this latest agreement will also serve as yet another clear example of the economic potential of home sharing in every corner of the Empire State.”

By doing collecting and remitting the hotel and motel room tax in Orleans, Airbnb will make the process seamless for hosts while providing a valuable source of revenue to Orleans County, the company said.

“The taxes collected by Airbnb help strengthen and expand the advertising programs we use to attract even more tourists, increasing the revenues for our businesses and taxable sales for our county,” said Dawn L. Borchert, Orleans County Director of Tourism.

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