The online lodging service Airbnb and Cuyahoga County have struck a deal to allow the county to collect a 5.5% lodging tax on transactions.
With the change, Airbnb will operate much more like hotels in how it collects funds. It also makes Cuyahoga the first county in Ohio to adopt a policy to collect taxes from Airbnb (which consumers will pay) which is largely unregulated.
So far only 30 cities, communities and states in the world have similar arrangements. Over the past year, local Airbnb hosts made a total of $2.3 million from renters, which would have netted a $115,000 gain had the tax been established. That accounts for approximately 16,200 people staying using Airbnb to rent in Cuyahoga County during that time.
When the new deal is implemented on April 1, the first real test to see its impact will be in July during the Republican National Convention. More than 50,000 people are expected to flood Cleveland during that time, and local hotels have already been booked solid for months.
Money from the lodging tax benefits the convention and visitors bureau, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority and local municipalities.
(Hat Tip cleveland.com