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Airbnb makes deals with Miami Beach, Portland

  • Sep 17, 2019 | Jennifer Sokolowsky

Miami Beach, Florida

Airbnb has made agreements with the cities of Miami Beach, Florida, and Portland, Oregon, to provide host information and delist non-compliant properties in order to help the cities enforce their vacation rental laws.

As part of the Miami Beach settlement, Airbnb must include city-issued business tax receipt numbers as well as resort tax registration certificate numbers on every Miami Beach listing. Airbnb must begin complying with the agreement within one month of the agreement’s effective date for new listings, and within three months for existing listings.

However, Airbnb will not be responsible for verifying whether those numbers are accurate or valid. The city will be checking those, and recently announced that short-term rental hosts who provide false business license numbers can be prosecuted for a criminal offense. The penalty for violation of the law is 60 days of jail time and/or a $500 fine.

The settlement requires Airbnb to pay the city $380,000, which it can use at its discretion, including to educate residents about its short-term rental rules.

Along with Miami Beach’s business tax receipt registration requirement, all Florida short-term rental hosts must obtain a state-issued Vacation Rental Dwelling License, as well as a state tax certificate. 

Miami Beach short-term rental hosts are required to collect lodging taxes for the city, Miami-Dade County, and the state from their guests and pass them on to the proper tax authorities.

Airbnb and Vrbo collect state and Miami-Dade County lodging taxes on behalf of their hosts, but they do not collect Miami Beach city taxes, so hosts are responsible for taking care of those themselves.

As short-term rentals come under increased scrutiny, MyLodgeTax can help short-term rental hosts navigate lodging tax compliance. MyLodgeTax can automate and simplify lodging tax compliance at the city, county, and state level, including tax registration and filing.

For more on vacation rental lodging taxes in Florida, see our state Vacation Rental Tax Guide

Portland agrees to build registration portal

Meanwhile, after years of negotiations, Portland has also agreed to share host information with Portland officials and build a portal into its site allowing hosts to register with the city. The portal launches November 1 and the city will begin sending monthly reports with information on its hosts in December. Starting January 1, Airbnb will remove listings of hosts who do not give permission to have their data shared with the city.

The deal will allow the city to more easily regulate short-term rentals and collect lodging taxes. Last year, city officials said that only 22 percent of vacation rentals listed online were complying with licensing requirements.

As part of the agreement, the city will streamline its licensing process, removing a requirement for in-person inspections and reducing the number of forms that hosts must submit.

Portland came to an agreement with HomeAway in 2018 requiring the platform to collect city and county lodging taxes from guests. The company also agreed to turn over information about its Portland hosts to the city and paid Portland $275,000. As part of the settlement, HomeAway — along with affiliates Vrbo and VacationRentals.com — registers hosts online for short-term rental permits.

Portland short-term rental hosts are required to collect city, Multnomah County, and state lodging taxes. Airbnb and Vrbo collect these taxes on behalf of their hosts. For more on vacation rental lodging taxes in Oregon, see our state Vacation Rental Tax Guide. If you have tax questions related to vacation rental properties, drop us a line and we’ll get back to you with answers.

Airbnb also recently made a deal with Boston in a lawsuit settlement. Airbnb agreed to rules requiring short-term rental hosts to own the properties that they rent out, and Airbnb will start offering hosts a way to add registration numbers to their listings starting September 1. Hosts must register by December 1 or Airbnb will remove their listings.

Airbnb’s settlement with Boston also includes a Fairness Across Platforms provision stating that the city will begin talks with Airbnb competitors to formalize their own agreements. Under that provision, Airbnb will be able to view these agreements and can communicate with the city if those are more favorable than Airbnb’s settlement.

Lodging tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Avalara Author
Jennifer Sokolowsky
Avalara Author Jennifer Sokolowsky
Jennifer Sokolowsky writes about tax, legal, and tech topics. She has an extensive international background in journalism and marketing, including work with The Seattle Times, The Prague Post, Avvo, and Marriott.