- Proposes Language To Cover All Platforms & Include State/County Hospitality Taxes.
Supporting New York's Pandemic Recovery through Travel-Enabled Tax Revenue
Tourism has always been a driving force in New York's economy and it will be even more essential as we seek to recover from the economic impact of the pandemic. According to a report by Tourism Economics, tourists spent $73.6 billion in New York in 2019, representing an essential part of the state's economy – providing jobs and revenue for local economies, small businesses, and state and local governments.
Short-term rentals have a key role to play in the tourism ecosystem and Airbnb is proud to have partnered with NYSTIA's Roam the Empire campaign to inspire local tourism. Hosts in New York provide unique options for travelers by opening their homes in all corners of the state, all while supporting local economies and spending at small businesses. And in the last twelve years, New Yorkers who have shared their homes with tourists through short-term rental platforms such as Airbnb have earned over $5.4 billion.
Throughout the country, Airbnb and other home sharing platforms are legally authorized to collect and remit state and local taxes. This includes neighboring states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont and Connecticut. But New York is lagging behind. Outdated tax laws have created obstacles on these collections, resulting in the state and local governments missing out on millions in much needed revenue.
Airbnb is proud to have led the way in the short-term rental industry in forging a path for tax collection in the Empire state. To date, we've entered into voluntary collection agreements with 35 of the state's 62 counties to remit county occupancy taxes on behalf of our Hosts. However, this piecemeal approach is not nearly enough to capture the economic impact that home sharing has to offer.
Governor Kathy Hochul's Executive Budget proposes a step in the right direction. Revenue Bill Part V of the budget proposal would require short-term rental platforms to collect and remit state and local sales taxes on behalf of their Hosts. With a few amendments to ensure all short-term rental platforms are captured, this would generate tens-of-millions of dollars of additional tax dollars at a critical time. Based on Airbnb's business between Sept. 2020 and Sept. 2021, this proposal would have generated nearly $75 million in revenue from our platform alone.
We strongly support this proposal, and believe the state should go even further by centralizing the collection of county occupancy taxes and mandating their collection by platforms like Airbnb. As counties continue to rebound from the financial stresses of the pandemic, occupancy taxes are an important method of funding local tourism, infrastructure and other critical projects. It's time for the state to streamline this process and enable short-term rentals to play a key role in providing this type of economic support directly to local governments.
As New York state deliberates the final budget, Airbnb looks forward to collaborating with tourism industry stakeholders to support this proposal and ensure New York gets it right. This proposal has the potential to provide millions of dollars in sustainable revenue to support the incredible work of the organizations represented by the New York State Tourism Industry Association. It's time for home sharing to contribute to New York's pandemic recovery, and Airbnb invites your collaboration and partnership on moving this important issue forward.