Should Short Term Rentals Like Airbnb Pay Taxes Like Hotels?

From SimpleGov

Should Short Term Rentals Like Airbnb Pay Taxes Like Hotels?

Honolulu, HI

The Problem

Many Honolulu businesses and consumers think the time has come to tax Airbnb and other short-term rental sites with the same oversight and transparency as hotels. According to a Hawaii Tourism Authority report, Airbnb is the third largest vacation rental platform in the state.The Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice found one out of every 24 housing units in the state is a vacation rental.

Suggested Solutions


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Matt Middlebrook (Airbnb)
Posted suggestion on May 15th, 2018
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Hi Matt Middlebrook, Airbnb's Public Policy Manager here.  First, the big hotels complained Airbnb wasn't paying taxes and now, after we've remitted more than half a billion dollars and partnered with more than 400 governments, they've changed their tune. AHLA is waging a nationwide campaign against Airbnb but it's clear they care little about Hawaii. If they were truly concerned about vacation rentals in the islands, they would be targeting other platforms like VRBO and HomeAway that have a much larger presence in the state.

Kekoa McClellan (AHLA)
Posted suggestion on Apr 28th, 2018
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I'm the Hawaii spokesman for The American Hotel and Lodging Association and a Honolulu local. There's a problem with illegal short term rentals. They hurt local families. If you're operating an illegal short term rental like a hotel, you're not paying the same property tax as an operator.

Troy Flanagan (AHLA)
Posted suggestion on Apr 27th, 2018
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Hi Troy Flanagan, Vice President of Government Affairs and Industry Relations at AHLA. Airbnb has been making back-room deals and strong-arming state and local jurisdictions into ‘voluntary’ tax deals with no transparency, oversight or auditing capability to ensure the company pays its proper share of taxes.  It’s like putting an empty jar at the counter of a retail store and asking customers to voluntarily pay sales taxes. There’s no accountability.



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Supporting Info

Hawai‘i Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice



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