Legislation Would Tax Home Sharing Platforms Like Hotels In New York

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ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI/AP) – New York lawmakers have a new proposal for statewide regulations for home-sharing platforms such as Airbnb.

The proposed rules would require short-term rentals to carry $250,000 in insurance, and authorize online platforms to collect and remit occupancy taxes from guests, including state, city and municipal sales taxes

Liz DeBold Fusco, spokesperson for Airbnb in the northeast says they are a fan of this legislation; it’s something they already do in 38 other states.

“It would legitimize Airbnb and ensure that more New Yorkers can access what we’ve already seen is a really important economic tool that many have already used in order to afford to stay in their homes from Rochester to Brooklyn.”

The taxes are the same ones paid by hotel guests. When a guest books a trip to New York through an online platform, these taxes would be automatically charged and collected at booking, and then remitted to the appropriate tax authorities.

Sponsors of the bill say it could generate millions for the state in tax revenues.

Senator James Skoufis and Assemblyman Joseph Lentol sponsored the bill, saying it balances the need for home sharing regulations with the reality that many New Yorkers use short-term rentals as a way to make some few extra bucks.