Airbnb recently announced that we have remitted $9.3 million in tax revenue to the State of Illinois on behalf of our local hosts in 2017.
Collecting and remitting hotel taxes can be incredibly 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 hundreds of governments throughout the world to collect and remit taxes, making the process seamless and easy for hosts to pay their fair share while contributing new revenue for local governments. Illinois was one of the first local governments to partner with Airbnb, via an agreement in late 2015 authorizing the home sharing platform to collect and remit the 6.17% Illinois Hotel Operators Occupation Tax.
While the state tax agreement was Airbnb’s first in Illinois, we have since partnered with local governments to collect and remit local occupancy taxes on behalf of hosts in Chicago, Cook County, Schaumburg, Oak Park, Rockford, and — most recently — Evanston. Airbnb is the only short-term rental platform with agreements in place throughout Illinois to collect these occupancy and hotel taxes.
This comes as Illinoisans increasingly embrace home sharing as an opportunity to earn supplemental income and make ends meet. There are now 7,000 Illinois hosts who share their homes via Airbnb, typically earning about $4,800 annually in supplemental income.
Statewide data indicates that Airbnb and our host community appear to be complementing — rather than competing with — the Illinois hotel industry. The latest report from the Illinois Office of Tourism shows 4% increase in hotel revenue, while a late 2017 report from Marcus & Millichap concludes that Illinois hotels are demonstrating strong growth in overall occupancy. This suggests that we are opening up the state to a new slice of prospective tourists by catering to travelers less able to afford hotels, those who desire to stay in neighborhoods or cities that lack hotels, and families who prefer to be together under one roof.
We welcome the opportunity to secure tax agreements with any additional Illinois counties or municipalities who assess their taxes independently. Local governments should contact the company at [email protected] to discuss further.