Recently, Airbnb announced that we have remitted $6.1 million in tax revenue on behalf of our local hosts to the City of Chicago in 2017 — including $2.9 million in revenue dedicated solely towards addressing homelessness in Chicago.
We have partnered with over 350 local governments throughout the U.S. to collect and remit taxes. Chicago was one of the first, having partnered with us in early 2015 to authorize the home sharing platform to collect the 4.5% Chicago hotel accommodations tax.
Then, in June 2016, the Chicago City Council passed the Shared Housing Ordinance, which made Chicago the largest American city to regulate and legitimize home sharing. The law included a provision for new 4% home sharing tax, with the revenue dedicated towards a new homeless family support program.
Through these tax agreements, in 2017 we delivered $3.2 million to the City of Chicago, as well as $2.9 million to fund homeless programs through the vacation rental surcharge tax.
In April 2017, Mayor Emanuel utilized the new home sharing surcharge revenue to launch the Housing Homeless Families program. The City described the program as:
“An unprecedented joint initiative with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (the Coalition) and its HomeWorks Campaign to address homelessness impacting families in the most at-risk communities. Using funds derived by the City of Chicago’s surcharge on the house sharing industry, the City will work with the Coalition to connect 100 homeless families in high crime communities with permanent housing. To secure housing for those families identified, the City will create 100 new permanent supportive housing units.”
Airbnb is the only home sharing platform with agreements in place to collect City of Chicago taxes.
“At Catholic Charities, every 30 seconds we have someone needing our support and help,” said Monsignor Michael Boland, president and CEO of Catholic Charities. “They are 1 million of our most vulnerable neighbors, many of whom are homeless or at risk of homelessness. This revenue has allowed us to deepen our services and provide stability to homeless families and those most at risk of homelessness as we lift them up on their paths to self-sufficiency.”
Since February 2015, Airbnb has delivered $8.2 million in tax revenue to the City of Chicago as well as $4.1 in tax revenue to the city since it began collecting the homeless tax in July 2016. We also have agreements in place to collect and remit both the Cook County hotel tax and the State of Illinois hotel tax.
This comes on the heels of a recent report noting that Airbnb guests infused a $350 million economic impact for Chicago in 2017, including $77 million in supplemental income for local hosts. 94% of Chicago’s Airbnb listings are outside of the Loop, offering opportunities for neighborhoods without hotels to experience the economic benefits of tourism — particularly the South and West sides.