Airbnb agrees to collect state, county taxes on Raleigh rentals
Posted May 18, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — Five months after Raleigh officials declared room-sharing apps to be illegal in the city, online lodging service Airbnb has agreed to collect taxes in connection with stays in Raleigh booked through its site.
Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin has been negotiating with Airbnb on how to comply with Raleigh's short-term rentals laws and announced the deal in a statement Monday.
"Airbnb is a popular piece of the new sharing economy that tourists and prospective residents expect to see in modern cities, so we are glad that we have taken the first step in welcoming Airbnb to Raleigh,” said Baldwin, who chairs the City's Council's Law and Public Safety Committee, which has been evaluating how best to integrate such services into the city.
Airbnb will start collecting North Carolina and Wake County sales and occupancy taxes on June 1, she said.
"This is a good first step, and I look forward toward working out safe and fair rules for home sharing in Raleigh," she said.
Airbnb serves to connect homeowners with visitors seeking to rent a room as an alternative to a hotel stay.
Opponents say such services undercut hotel taxes and present a traffic problem for residential neighborhoods. Airbnb users argue that regulations on the service impinge on a homeowner's right to use his or her property to make some extra income.
Under the city's current "Bed and Breakfast" laws, such rentals are allowed, but only in historic districts, historic landmarks or properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The Oakwood Inn, Raleigh's only operating bed and breakfast, announced last month that it would close June 1, citing competition from Airbnb and similar services.