COOS BAY — The popular online vacation and rental company, Airbnb, will now pay the same taxes as the rest of the city’s hotels and motels.
On Tuesday, Coos Bay City Council unanimously agreed to execute a new agreement between the city and the Delaware company which requires lodgers to pay a 7 percent transient room tax.
Airbnb will collect the tax from each of its hosts that make their homes available for short term rentals and then hand it over to the city.
Finance Director Susanne Baker and City Attorney Nate McClintock noted in a staff report to councilors that taxing vacation rentals for time periods spanning less than 30 days was a fairly new requirement.
They said city staff is working with online vendors to receive transient occupancy taxes.
“Through this experience, AirBnB has proven to be a unique vendor,” the report said. “They do not provide information to determine who their hosts are in which to make contact directly with the property for transient occupancy tax collection.”
This has proved a conundrum for some cities, which are grappling with not being able to determine which homes are also serving as vacation rentals from simple residences.
It comes down to city governments attempting to identify currently anonymous rental properties.
Baker said she spoke with several other cities and that they recommended implementing a transient tax on Airbnb at a wider scale.
“I think the more people become aware of it the more we will see (similar taxes) implemented,” she added.
In Coos Bay, city staff identified some 15 homes using Airbnb for property rentals.
City Manager Rodger Craddock anticipated more issues relating to the rental company would be brought to the council at future meetings regarding permits and other code matters.
“As the world evolves, so must our ordinances,” he said.
The agreement goes into effect July 1.