Airbnb reports tax collections exceeded $100 million in 2019
Photo Credit: Forbes

The company collected $97 million for state and $40 million for counties in 2019.

Vacation rental home marketing platform Airbnb channeled more than $136 million in taxes to state and county coffers in 2019, topping $100 million for the first time, the company announced Monday.

That total included $97.1 million in state sales taxes paid by Airbnb’s property clients, then collected by the internet marketing platform and remitted to the State Department of Revenue. The other $39.7 million was in local tourism taxes paid by the clients, collected by Airbnb, and paid to local counties, the company reported Monday.

The combined total of $136.7 million in state sales and local tourism taxes paid through Airbnb compares with the $89.5 million that was paid by vacation rental home owners through Airbnb to state or county coffers in 2018. And the 2018 totals marked a dramatic increase over 2017.

Airbnb has been authorized since 2015 to collect state sales tax on behalf of its now 60,000 vacation rental home clients statewide. The company also has been signing individual agreements with various counties to collect and remit sales taxes for them. Airbnb has agreements with 44 of Florida’s 67 counties.

This year’s total of county tourism taxes paid through Airbnb, $39.7 million, was up from $27 million in 2018.

Miami-Dade topped receiving counties. Airbnb collected and paid $13.3 million in tourism taxes there.

Other counties included Broward County, which was paid $7.5 million; Pinellas County; $4.5 million; Orange County, $3.0 million; Lee County, $2.3 million; Hillsborough County, $2.0 million; Sarasota County, $1.8 million; Brevard County, $1.2 million; Polk County, $1.1 million; Charlotte County, $358,000; Santa Rosa County, $357,000; Leon County, $271,000; Seminole County, $267,000; Indian River County, $126,000; and Hernando County, $105,000.

In January, Airbnb reported that its host properties, combined, did more than $1 billion in business in Florida last year, the first time that milestone had been achieved. The company reported its clients received about $1.2 billion in rent, from 6.6 million guests to the state in 2019.

That far surpassed the 2018 numbers, which included a combined $810 million in vacation rental home income from 4.5 million guests drawn to rent properties through Airbnb’s platforms.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]

One comment

  • Paula

    February 17, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    Unfortunately, Airbnb is ruining Florida’s communities. Look at Lake Placid, and Sedona, where 30% of all housing is now short-term rentals. School attendance is declining. Is that what we want? How about calculating the worth of neighbors and volunteers? Providing housing for those who want to work and live in Florida?

    When a hurricane hits, or a disease such as Coronavirus becomes prevalent, who will be here? Not the visitors….take a look at what’s happening if there is a problem someplace – the residents remain/the visitors stay away.

    Remember that the great majority of Airbnb’s profit comes from entire unit rentals – the “mom and pop” version is the story Airbnb likes to tell, but it’s not reality.

    A little digging into the actual facts shows the huge downside of Airbnb’s unfettered operations. Wish some good Florida reporter would do a piece on this – Mr. Powers, could that good Florida reporter be you?

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