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Economics / Finance / Municipal government

Baltimore won’t be taxing Airbnb, at least in the coming months

City Councilman Jim Kraft said there would be no action on the bill this term, which ends in December. How anti-climactic.

An Airbnb office. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons user Raysonho)

A Baltimore City Council bill designed to apply hotel taxes to Airbnb died in committee, according to a report from WMAR-TV.
At a committee hearing where the bill was supposed to be considered on Tuesday, Councilman Jim Kraft said that the Council will not take any action on the bill this term, which ends in December. Minutes confirm that no action was taken on the bill at the hearing.
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The bill proposed to apply the city’s 9.5 percent hotel tax to short-term rentals, including Airbnb. The San Francisco-based company has reached similar agreements in other cities and indicated that taxes were a form of acceptance.
City officials and the company appeared to be onboard, but some Airbnb hosts who opposed the bill did show up to the hearing. Questions at past hearings arose about where the remainder of tax money that was not part of a 40 percent share to fund Visit Baltimore, the city’s convention and tourism marketing arm, would go.
The Council is set for lots of turnover next term, with more than half of the current Councilmembers, including Kraft, not returning. What will that mean for the bill?

Companies: City of Baltimore / Airbnb
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