City of SLO reaches deal with Airbnb on tax collection

Following the lead of the county, the city of San Luis Obispo has struck a deal with the popular online rental platform Airbnb on collecting transient occupancy tax and additional assessments imposed upon short-term home renters.

The agreement calls for Airbnb to collect a 10 percent transient occupancy tax, as well as a 2 percent Tourism Business Improvement District assessment and a 1 percent Tourism Marketing District assessment, from guests booking properties in the city of SLO. Airbnb will then transmit the funds to the city.

Airbnb hosts in SLO will no longer need to collect taxes and hand over the funds to the city. The tax collection will be done automatically through the booking platform.

SLO County struck a similar deal with Airbnb last year. Numerous other cities and counties have done the same.

In the city of SLO, property owners are only allowed to list their homes on Airbnb if they comply with a regulatory scheme that includes a ban on renting entire homes. According to city rules, properties must be owner-occupied if they are listed on Airbnb. Thus, property owners can only use the platforms to rent out rooms within their home.

Additionally, the city requires owners of Airbnbs to obtain a homestay permit, as well as a business license. A statement issued by the city announcing the deal with Airbnb also says San Luis Obispo officials are working on identifying unpermitted short-term rentals and mandating that they comply with regulations.

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