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Overnight Traveler's Tax Deal Worked Out Between Eugene, Airbnb

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By Flickr.com's C_osett.
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Users of the home sharing site Airbnb will now not only be finding a place to stay for the night, they’ll also be adding to the City of Eugene’s tax coffers.  KLCC’s Brian Bull explains.

Eugene officials say starting immediately, people listing their homes as short-term rentals to travelers will be generating 4.5% in transient room tax.  It’s the same tax applied to motels, hotels, bed and breakfasts, and similar spots.

City spokeswoman Caitlin Estes says revenues generated will fund Eugene’s cultural services programs.

“That supports tourism and visitor programs in Eugene,” she says. “Previously before the agreement, there wasn’t a way to guarantee that that tax was being paid. So now, Airbnb puts that tax into the room rate and they pay the taxes and make it a much simpler process.”

The city’s financial reporting manager, Doug Lauderbach, adds the arrangement will alleviate some administrative burdens.

“Back in the day, each of the individual owner-operators collected and remitted their own transient room tax,” says Lauderbach.  

“Before this agreement, we might receive a hundred returns from a hundred different owner-operators.  Now, if all those hundred operators use Airbnb, we’ll only get one return instead.”

Eugene joins Portland and Bend in arranging the home sharing tax agreement with Airbnb.  There are nearly 300 listings in the Eugene area.  

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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