Kentucky gets $2.1 million in taxes from Airbnb in first year of collection deal

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Airbnb generated $2.1 million in sales and hotel taxes for Kentucky state government in the year ended Oct. 1, the home-sharing company said Tuesday.

The company and state reached a deal last year for Airbnb to begin charging and collecting the state’s 6 percent  sales tax and 1 percent hotel tax for its Kentucky-based hosts.

The $2.1 million collected in the last 12 months is more than double what the company first projected, Airbnb said in press release.

About 224,000 guests have stayed in Kentucky through Airbnb during the year ended Oct. 1, up 94 percent from the previous year, Airbnb said.

"The host community adds particular value to the commonwealth in more rural areas of Kentucky that lack hotels, in addition to expanding lodging capacity for larger metro areas when hotels sell out for large events -- such as Louisville during the Kentucky Derby and Lexington during university events," the company said.

Airbnb struck a similar agreement with the Louisville Metro in March to collect local hotel taxes, though results were not available on Tuesday.

The company’s collection of taxes fills government coffers, while absent such agreements, many residents would ignore their tax obligations and local and state government would have difficulty enforcing them.

But Airbnb does not tell Kentucky or local governments who the hosts are or where they live.

As Louisville weighs changes to its short-term rental regulations, some neighbors say Airbnb rentals need to be curtailed.

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