Local governments in Virginia claim that Airbnb has been violating state law by refusing to provide basic tax information for over a year.
Despite a law enacted in October 2022 mandating rental intermediaries like Airbnb submit property addresses and gross receipts to local authorities each month, the company allegedly refuses to comply.
Maggie Ragon, the commissioner of revenue in Staunton in Virginia told The Daily Progress that Airbnb perceives itself as distinct from other businesses in the commonwealth of Virginia, asserting that it does not necessarily have to adhere to the same laws and regulations that other businesses in Virginia are obliged to follow.
The law enacted in 2022 shifted the responsibility of sharing addresses of rentals and transaction receipts from individual hosts to intermediaries such as Airbnb and Vrbo. Local officials express frustration, emphasizing that Airbnb seems to consider itself exempt from the same laws that other businesses in Virginia follow.
While Airbnb representatives assert that the company is paying taxes, concerns persist over its alleged noncompliance with the new reporting requirements. Vincent Frillici, Airbnb’s Virginia public policy manager said that within the initial six months of the law’s enforcement, Airbnb gathered and submitted over $23 million in hotel tax revenue to both state and local authorities in more than 200 Virginia communities, according to The Daily Progress.
“Airbnb is collecting and remitting all applicable hotel taxes in Virginia in accordance with state and federal laws which protect private user information. There is a simple legal process by which localities must request data and to date we’ve complied with dozens of requests from jurisdictions across the state which have found no discrepancies with our tax reporting.” An Airbnb spokesperson told Skift.
Meanwhile, in New York City the company is fighting a different fight: After the city’s Office of Special Enforcement said it approved 22% of the host applications, the company claimed that the city’s de facto ban has failed to deliver on several promises. Chief among them: rents continue to rise, there’s no real increase to apartment inventory, hotel prices are at an all-time high while erstwhile Airbnb hosts take an underground route to list their apartments.
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