VERSAILLES, Ky. — Airbnb and Woodford County Fiscal Court have announced a tax agreement that authorizes the company to collect the Woodford County transient room tax on behalf of its local hosts, and remit the revenue directly to the county.
With the tax agreement in place, Woodford County will benefit from people visiting the region and staying longer through home sharing. Effective Sept. 1, Airbnb will automatically collect and remit the subject (3 percent) occupancy tax for taxable bookings, making the process seamless and efficient for local Airbnb hosts and the county.
Collecting and remitting hotel-type taxes can be incredibly complicated. The rules were designed for traditional hospitality providers and large hotel corporations with teams of lawyers and accountants. For this reason, Airbnb has partnered with over 370 local governments throughout the U.S. to collect and remit taxes, making the process easy for hosts to pay their fair share while contributing new revenue for local governments.
Founded in 2008, Airbnb’s stated mission is to create a world where people can belong when they travel by being connected to local cultures and having unique travel experiences. Its community marketplace provides access to millions of unique accommodations from apartments and villas to castles and treehouses in more than 65,000 cities and 191 countries. Airbnb is people-powered, and the easiest way to earn a little extra income from extra space in a home or from sharing passions, interests and cities.
Of Airbnb’s 370 U.S. tax partnerships, this now marks the company’s fourth in Kentucky, and its first with a local Kentucky county government. In 2017, Airbnb announced an agreement with the Kentucky Department of Revenue to collect state sales taxes on all bookings throughout the state. Airbnb also has agreements with Lexington and Metro Louisville to collect their respective occupancy taxes.
“Our hosts want to pay their fair share, and we want to help,” said Tom Martinelli, regional policy director for Airbnb. “Our Woodford County host community provides a tremendous service to the county by allowing more visitors to stay in the region and spend money with local businesses. This tax agreement will only enhance the economic impact and deliver a brand new revenue stream for Woodford County.”
Woodford County is a quickly growing market for home sharing. Nearly 1,000 Airbnb guests have experienced stays in the county in the past year, which represents over a 100 percent year-over-year growth.
Woodford County attorney Alan George, who worked with the Airbnb authorities to formalize the professional services agreement, credited Woodford County Treasurer Sabra Garmon with spearheading the collaboration.
“Treasurer Garmon did an outstanding job investigating and coordinating the process,” George said. “As a result of her admirable efforts, Woodford County is now uniquely well-positioned to generate this additional source of county government revenue. This benefits not only the fiscal court in terms of its budget, but all of our local citizenry, as well, because of the continued services to be provided.”