Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, August 24, 2018

Hamilton Co. trustee and Airbnb strike tax agreement

Hamilton County Trustee Bill Hullander and Airbnb have negotiated a tax agreement that authorizes the company to collect the local occupancy tax on behalf of its Hamilton County hosts and remit the revenue directly to the county.

With the tax agreement in place, Chattanooga and Hamilton County will benefit from people visiting the region and staying longer through home sharing. Effective Sept. 1, Airbnb will automatically collect and remit the hotel/motel occupancy tax (4 percent) for taxable bookings.

Collecting and remitting hotel/motel occupancy taxes can be complicated. The rules were designed for traditional hospitality providers and large hotel corporations with teams of lawyers and accountants.

For this reason, Airbnb has partnered with over 370 local governments throughout the U.S. to collect and remit taxes.

Of Airbnb’s 370 U.S. tax partnerships, this now marks the company’s fourth in Tennessee. In 2017, Airbnb announced an agreement with the Tennessee Department of Revenue to collect state and local sales taxes on all bookings throughout the state. Airbnb also has agreements with Memphis and Knoxville to collect their respective city occupancy taxes.

“Our hosts want to pay their fair share, and we want to help,” says Laura Spanjian, regional policy director for Airbnb. “Our greater Chattanooga host community provides a tremendous service to the region by allowing more visitors to stay longer and spend money with local businesses. This tax agreement will only enhance the economic impact and deliver a brand-new revenue stream for Hamilton County.”

Chattanooga is Airbnb’s third largest market in Tennessee, behind only Nashville and Memphis. About 62,000 Airbnb guests experienced Chattanooga in 2017. Chattanooga took steps to legalize home sharing in 2017, passing a law that allowed short-term rentals in nearly the entire city.

Source: Hamilton County trustee