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Airbnb Will Collect Taxes in San Francisco Starting Next Month

Short-term rentals in the city are about to cost 14 percent more than before.

Airbnb will collect taxes from its hosts and and remit them to its hometown of San Francisco starting October 1, the company said today.

That means Airbnb-coordinated stays in San Francisco are about to cost 14 percent more than before, with the addition of the city’s transient occupancy tax.

The move comes as Airbnb is the focus of a legislative battle in the city over short-term rentals, which have largely existed as a loophole outside leasing and hotel systems. City leaders held a marathon eight-hour hearing on the issue this week.

Airbnb had previously promised to institute the tax plan this summer. (Then again, San Francisco’s mild fall can feel like summer.)

“This is the culmination of a long process that began earlier this year when we announced our intent to help collect and remit occupancy taxes in San Francisco,” said Airbnb public policy leader David Owen in a blog post.

San Francisco supervisors are still in committee hearings about a proposed law that may limit Airbnb-type rentals to a total of 90 days per year when no host is present. They are also discussing host registries and mandatory notifications to landlords whose tenants sign up as hosts.

Owen had appeared at the hearing this week, and argued that it would violate Arbnb hosts’ privacy to share information with the city about their listings and rental history. This comes back to the fact that Airbnb bridges the online and offline worlds. The company says this is parallel to when governments ask Internet platforms to hand over user records. The city says it’s more similar to reporting sales tax.

Airbnb is already collecting taxes in Portland, and had discussed collecting taxes in New York.

This article originally appeared on

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