Santa Fe will maintain a voluntary recovery contract with the short-term hosting company Airbnb, even though a national hosting trade group is asking governments to cancel those offers. “I just don`t see any damage to leaving a revised VCA that will provide more data to the city,” Randall said. “For me, a VCA with Airbnb strengthens the relationship and ensures collections better than without it.” Historically, other online rental services, such as Booking.com, HomeAway and VRBO, have not collected these taxes in many locations. Over the past two years, HomeAway and VRBO have started charging some occupancy taxes in a handful of areas, sometimes with their own version of a VCA. Booking.com does not offer occupancy tax services, which increases the revenue burden for municipalities. Booking.com`s director of global communications, Kim Soward, says the company pays all necessary taxes. Expedia Group – owner of HomeAway, VRBO, VacationRentals and other websites – did not respond to several requests for comment. AhlA called on national and local politicians to end Airbnb`s voluntary tax agreements and implement a tax policy that will introduce taxes for Airbnb and its operators to ensure a level playing field and transparency for taxpayers. In San Francisco, airbnb`s headquarters, the company agreed to refund its taxes and collect taxes from its hosts. AHLA invited other states and localities to follow suit. The report, released at the request of THE AHLA, calls on state and local government policy makers to reject the future continuation of Airbnbs` Voluntary Recovery Contracts (VCAs) and to view the Wayfair decision as a way to end existing VCA agreements and bring Airbnb to market with current market tax standards and regulations. Airbnb says it has “excellent working relationships” with many Texas cities and hopes to expand the VCA with the state to “new tax treaties with Texas municipalities to help them reap new revenue from home sharing.” “Airbnb has been doing backroom business and heavily armed state and local jurisdictions for years in “voluntary” tax agreements, without transparency, oversight or auditing capacity,” said Chip Rogers, President and CEO of AHLA. Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms must follow the same rules as all other law-adforcing companies in the industry.
Bucks called on heads of state and government to put in place the process to end existing executive agreements with Airbnb, in coordination with the state`s passage of laws on “general marketplace providers.” Bucks added that differences in airbnb`s tax treatment with other online businesses posed a legal risk to states and municipalities. “Some governments have rules that require platforms like Airbnb to collect and transfer taxes, and we do everything we can to meet those obligations,” said Christopher Nulty, director of public policy at Airbnb. “However, many governments do not have such rules, so Airbnb has proactively entered into more than 500 voluntary collection agreements around the world to ensure that our community pays its fair share of taxes.