Starting in April, Airbnb will automatically collect and remit 8.5 percent tax on bookings in Louisville and Jefferson County, officials announced Monday.
The additional tax will automatically be added to guests’ bills for stays under 30 days, then be passed on to the government, Airbnb spokesman Ben Breit said. The fee will be in addition to a 6 percent state sales tax and 1 percent transient room tax that Airbnb agreed to collect and remit last fall.
The change will go into effect ahead of the Kentucky Derby season, the busiest time of the year for Airbnb bookings in Louisville, Breit said. The website allows people to book homes and rooms from private owners, typically for short-term stays.
Karen Williams, president and CEO of the Louisville Convention Bureau, said there is demand for Airbnb from both leisure and convention travelers.
“We have a growing number of Airbnb Hosts in Louisville – this will put them on the same playing field as our other accommodations in paying the transient room tax,” Williams said in a news release.
In 2015, the Louisville Metro Council passed regulations that included requiring homeowners to pay annual registration fees. Those rules applied to hosts on Airbnb and other sites such as VRBO. But few hosts actually registered, according to Courier Journal.
Last year, 78,000 out of town visitors used Airbnb in Louisville, earning hosts more than $10 million, officials said in a news release.