Oceanside, Airbnb announce short-term rental tax collection agreement

SAN DIEGO – The city of Oceanside and vacation rental website Airbnb announced an agreement Thursday to collect vacation rental taxes that will benefit the city’s general fund.

On May 1, Airbnb will start collecting the city’s 10 percent transient occupancy tax and 1.5 percent tourism marketing district tax on all of its vacation rental listings in Oceanside. Airbnb will collect the taxes at the time renters pay for their reservation, then remit the revenue to the city. San Diego and Carlsbad have similar agreements with the company.

The city collected roughly $2.5 million in transient occupancy taxes during the 2017-18 fiscal year. Oceanside plans to use the revenue to pay for expenses like police and firefighter salaries and city parks.

“Tourism revenue plays an important part in the city budget, and this process will ensure that the appropriate taxes from that industry are collected in a timely and efficient fashion,” Oceanside City Manager Michelle Skaggs Lawrence said.

The city has sought to regulate the short-term rental market that has rapidly expanded in coastal communities and towns throughout the county. Earlier this year, city officials and the Oceanside City Council expressed interest in requiring homeowners to obtain a license and pay an annual fee if they want to list their home on a vacation rental platform like Airbnb or VRBO.

According to Airbnb, the company has collected and remitted more than $1.25 billion in tourism tax revenue at its listings around the world since 2014.

“Airbnb helps Oceanside families earn extra money to help make ends meet while allowing visitors to stay in local neighborhoods to experience this beautiful coastal community,” said Matt Middlebrook, Airbnb’s head of policy in California. “We are excited to partner with the city of Oceanside to make the tax collection process easier for hosts and want to promote healthy tourism in Oceanside communities.”

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