Airbnb, the world’s leading community-driven hospitality company, has partnered with Madera County on a new tax agreement. Beginning Oct. 1, Airbnb will begin collecting and remitting the 9% Transient Occupancy Tax and the 2% Tourism Business Improvement District taxes on all eligible bookings in the unincorporated areas of Madera County.
The Madera County Board of Supervisors agreed to the arrangement in early August.
At the time Madera County Treasurer-Tax Collector Tracy Kennedy-Desmond said the agreement will bring new revenue to the county.
“This agreement will allow Airbnb to add our TOT percentage amount to any of the rentals that have been placed with them by the property owner for renting on their behalf,” said Kennedy-Desmond. “We don’t know exactly how many properties that may include, but we are hopeful that even if it is just a few over and above what we already have in our database, that it will be a start for some additional revenue for the county.”
In August Kennedy-Desmond told the supervisors her focus was on contacting the property owners that are allowing the short term rental of their home, cabin or a single room, to advise them how to comply with county ordinances as they relate to business licenses and becoming a TOT operator.
Kennedy-Desmond’s office sent out about 120 letters in June to homeowners in the unincorporated portions of the county, mostly in Eastern Madera County, advising them they were not in compliance using their home as a short term vacation rental without a county business license and collecting TOT. Those property owners were located after a search on Airbnb.
“We have had very good responses from the homeowners that we sent requests for compliance letters to over the last couple months,” Kennedy-Desmond said. “Many contacted our office stating they were already represented by a property manager and we already had them in our system.”
“Madera County offers so much, including a peaceful mountain escape for travelers, and our hosts are very enthusiastic about sharing their local knowledge with visitors,” said Airbnb Public Policy Manager Marisa Moret. “We are thrilled to partner with the county on collecting taxes because these are valuable dollars for the community and it simplifies the process for our hosts and guests, allowing everyone to focus on what matters, enjoying the travel experience.”
“The revenues collected through the TOT and TBID collection process fund important county services, such as law enforcement and additional marketing is also provided by the Visit Yosemite/Madera County visitors bureau from the TBID revenues,” Kennedy-Desmond said
With this new agreement, Madera County joins a list of more than 310 jurisdictions globally where Airbnb has collected and remitted more than $300 million in hotel and tourist taxes.
There are currently 260 Airbnb hosts in Madera County, with the majority in the Mountain Area, according to the company.
According to Airbnb, for families around Madera County, Airbnb makes it possible to pay their bills, stay in their homes and make ends meet. The typical host in the county earns $9,700 a year sharing his or her home. This is meaningful supplemental income during a time of historic income inequality.
At the same time, Airbnb is democratizing travel by creating an affordable way for travelers to authentically explore every corner of the world. To date, there have been more than 200 million guest arrivals in Airbnb listings around the globe, including 49,000 in Madera County last year.
Airbnb’s mission is to create a world where people can belong anywhere when they travel by being connected to local cultures and having unique travel experiences. Today, Airbnb is the world’s leading community-driven hospitality company, with 4 million listings in 65,000 cities and more than 191 countries.