With influx of Derby visitors, new Airbnb tax change could bring - WDRB 41 Louisville News

With influx of Derby visitors, new Airbnb tax change could bring additional revenue to Louisville

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- With Thunder Over Louisville and the Kentucky Derby right around the corner, a change to how taxes are collected from Airbnb listings is expected to bring in substantial revenue.

A new agreement means taxes will be collected directly from Airbnb year-round for the first time during these events. Under the old system, hosts had to pay money to the city themselves.

Airbnb "Superhost" Dana McMahan has been paying the fee when renting out her Old Louisville home, but not everyone followed the rules.

“The number of hosts who were paying that occupancy tax was a small fraction,” McMahan said.

One of the groups that benefit from the tax is The Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau, which receives 4.5 percent of the tax. It estimates an additional $500,000 will be collected this fiscal year.

Karen Williams, the president of the organization, said that will benefit the local economy and Airbnb hosts.

"To be able to go after larger events and to be able to market and spend more advertising dollars that we've not been able to spend in the past," Williams said.

Airbnb spokesperson Ben Breit is expecting a big crowd but said it is too early to tell exactly because people are still booking.

“As of now, there’s just no doubt that this is going to represent the largest influx of Airbnb guests to the city, to the region, in the history of our platform," Breit said.

The convention and visitors bureau expects the tax revenue to grow.

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