Report: Airbnb’s growth sends potential tax revenue for cities soaring

If the 50 largest cities in the US were to let Airbnb collect and remit taxes on behalf of its community, the windfall for these local governments would add up to $2.5 billion over the next 10 years, according to updated tax projections released today by Airbnb.

Were these 50 cities to have allowed Airbnb to collect and remit taxes in 2016, the intake would have been $250 million, an increase from $200 million estimated for 2015 due to the growth of our community in these cities. Austin, Texas, for example, could have collected roughly $6 million last year, Boston and Denver roughly $4 million apiece, and Nashville, Tennessee and Las Vegas $3 million apiece (not accounting for any county- or state-level taxes that may apply). Airbnb’s 2017 report can be found here.

As it stands, Airbnb already has remitted $175 million in hotel, tourist and occupancy taxes to more than 220 cities and communities around the world since we first began doing so in Portland and San Francisco in 2014, a four-fold increase from $42.6 million in taxes remitted in 20 cities as of our report at this time one year ago.

As it stands, Airbnb already has remitted $175 million in hotel, tourist and occupancy taxes to more than 220 cities and communities around the world

Both the original and the updated revenue projections were released by Airbnb in conjunction with a visit to the US Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting. In 2016, Airbnb’s head of global policy Chris Lehane stood before the Conference and said, “Read my lips: we want to pay taxes.” Since then, we have continued to expand our programs to collect and remit hotel, occupancy, and tourist taxes on behalf of our hosts and guests.

The 2017 report also offers new data on how Airbnb strengthens city economies, and details of how cities that are already collecting this tax revenue are using it to support a range of progressive programs and services, including aid for the homeless and new housing construction.