Carter County seeks to contract with Airbnb for hotel/motel tax

Carter County is looking to contract with Airbnb, in order to collect the hotel/motel tax along with other hotels in the county.

Finance Director Brad Burke said the move is similar to areas like Chattanooga and other places in the state, which have been looking to clarify whether Airbnbs count towards the tax. County Attorney Josh Hardin said a few months ago that the tax could apply to the hosting service should the county pursue it.

“It is normally applied to hotel rooms automatically,” Burke said.

Airbnb is a rapidly expanding marketplace where anyone can create an account and rent out their home or hotel room (the latter depending on the conditions of the original lease) to those looking to travel at more affordable costs. Airbnb announced in March of this year they hosted more than six million listings from all over the world.

Currently, Airbnb hosts have to arrange the tax separately with a form from the county clerk’s office, which calculates the tax they owe based on the rent of the room minus a small percentage due to operating costs. Roughly speaking, this tax comes to a little less than 5 percent of the monthly rent. Renters must pay this tax monthly to the host, who then turns the tax over to the county.

Burke said roughly 98 percent of the hotel/motel tax money received goes to the Chamber of Commerce, while the remaining 2 percent goes into the general fund.

“Last year, the chamber collected $143,978.07,” he said.

Airbnb does not automatically collect this tax in all jurisdictions, though recent partnerships with local governments have worked to include this tax, so renters now pay the tax automatically just like with other hotels they may utilize.

This provides an added convenience for renters, who would not need to go through the hassle of paying the tax after already paying several hundred dollars for the room.

The decision to send the tax money to the chamber, Burke said, came from the county commission a few years ago, and they can decide to send that money elsewhere should they desire.

As of now, work is still being done before any official partnership is reached.

BREAKING NEWS

Second arrest made in murder investigation after man’s remains found in buried freezer

Community

Fish and Chicken Feast June 1 at Boozy Creek

Local news

Hampton man still sought on murder, other charges in connection with body unearthed in freezer

Local news

Elizabethton dedicates first mural despite heavy downpour

Local news

Elizabethton Water Resources lifts boil water notice after line break 

Community

Senior Center Schedule

Community

Buster Barnett celebrates 89th birthday on June 3

Local news

Two former HVHS graduates complete prestigious state-wide leadership program

Community

Isaac Whitehead Family plans reunion June 1

Local news

Legendary coach Rider remembered at groundbreaking for $3.75 million fieldhouse

Local news

Nutrition program guides teens to healthier future

Local news

ETSU helping vets turn visions into ventures

Church News

Church Briefs

BREAKING NEWS

NWS Issues Hazardous Weather Outlook for East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, and Southwest North Carolina

Community

Whitehead Cemetery Assoc. plans Memorial Day Gathering

Church News

Why did Jesus say, ‘Don’t cast your pearls before swine?’

Local news

The Drop Collaborative partners with Unaka High School for Award-Winning SAE Program

Local news

Price & Ramey Insurance announces Aaron Hammons as new President/CEO

Local news

Annual Elizabethton Memorial Day Ceremony scheduled for Monday, May 27

Local news

Gov. Lee makes pitch to bring Super Bowl to new Titans stadium, NFL commissioner plays coy

Local news

National Trails Day celebrated June 1 in area state parks

Arrests

Johnson City Police arrest Blountville man on aggravated assault, vandalism charges

Local news

Lawsuit: Business partner of alleged serial rapist made extortion payments to Johnson City police

Local news

Memorial Day concert Monday at Sycamore Shoals State Park