Airbnb to Begin West Virginia Tax Collection

Updated 1 year ago Edited from a Press Release

CHARLESTON, WV – Airbnb, the world’s leading community-driven hospitality company, today will begin collecting the West Virginia state sales tax (6%) on behalf of its statewide host community, allowing the state to fully benefit from people visiting and staying longer through home sharing and short-term rentals.

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 over 400 local governments throughout the U.S. 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.

Some states have also begun passing laws authorizing platforms like Airbnb to collect taxes, which is what West Virginia did earlier this year when it passed HB2813 into law. As a result of this new law, effective today, Airbnb will automatically collect and remit the sales tax for taxable bookings statewide, making the process seamless and easy for local Airbnb hosts and delivering a revenue stream to the state. Airbnb will deliver the revenue to the West Virginia State Tax Department.

This tax revenue component comes on the heels of Governor Justice earlier this year signing a bill into law that protects the rights of West Virginia homeowners to share their homes as vacation rentals or short-term rentals. SB 4, which made the Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program permanent, states that cities participating in the program cannot pass laws that “prohibit or limit the rental of a property” or “regulate the duration, frequency, or location of such rental.”

“We are eager to get the word out about this tax collection so that hosts who are already collecting the sales and use tax know that this responsibility will now be handled by Airbnb on their behalf,” said Tom Martinelli, Airbnb’s regional policy director. “West Virginia is leading the way on embracing the economic benefits of the sharing economy. The home sharing protection law Governor Justice earlier signed into law will support increased tourism to the state, and our ability to collect state taxes will bring new revenue.”

Late last year, Airbnb announced the #1 most wish-listed (i.e. most popular or desired) Airbnb listings in each of the top 25 home sharing markets in West Virginia. That list can be found here.

Airbnb also recently announced that its West Virginia host community earned a combined $10 million in supplemental income in 2018 while welcoming 90,000 guest arrivals to the state. Yet, statewide data indicates that Airbnb and its host community appear to be complementing -- rather than competing with -- the West Virginia hotel industry. The most recent report from the West Virginia Tourism Office indicates thatWV hotels experienced dynamic growth in occupancy, nights sold and overall revenue in 2018 even as local hosts welcomed tens of thousands of guests. This suggests that Airbnb is 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.

About Airbnb

Founded in 2008, Airbnb exists to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere, providing healthy travel that is local, authentic, diverse, inclusive and sustainable. Airbnb uniquely leverages technology to economically empower millions of people around the world to unlock and monetize their spaces, passions and talents to become hospitality entrepreneurs. Airbnb’s accommodation marketplace provides access to 6+ million unique places to stay in nearly 100,000 cities and 191 countries. With Experiences, Airbnb offers unprecedented access to local communities and interests through 30,000+ unique, handcrafted activities run by hosts across 1,000+ markets around the world. Airbnb’s people-to-people platform benefits all its stakeholders, including hosts, guests, employees and the communities in which it operates.

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