Taxing Airbnb Stays In NYS and NYC

I guess the theme of this week is taxes. But today’s post is about something completely different. A Company wants to collect and remit taxes to NYS and NYC and lawmakers don’t want the money. I’ve written about this sad tale before but the story continues.

Back in February, NYS Governor Cuomo put a provision into the NYS budget that would allow/require Airbnb to collect NYS and NYC applicable taxes when Airbnb hosts collect revenues from their tenants.

If NYS and NYC were able to fully collect taxes on these Airbnb stays, it is estimated that a total of $130mm would be generated in new revenues; $75mm to NYC, $45mm to NYS, and about $10mm to various other counties in NYS.

Given that the NYS State Legislature wants to raise around $7bn in new tax revenues in this budget session, you would think tapping into this source of tax revenues would be a slam dunk.

But no. NYS legislators who are friends to the hotel industry and sworn enemies of Airbnb have pushed for the removal of this provision and it is likely to be out of the final budget.

It is time for everyone to grow up, recognize that Airbnb is never going away, treat them like the important service provider (to hosts and guests) that they are, and tax this process appropriately. I encourage NYS legislators to do that in this current session. The budget issues are too important to play silly politics anymore.