Booking a room on Airbnb in Portland and Multnomah County may get a little more expensive this week. The company says it will add Portland’s hotel tax to all reservations made on the site starting July 1.
Say you’re renting a cozy hut for a couple of nights in Portland. In the past, it was entirely up to your Airbnb host to calculate the local room tax, collect it from you, and pay the city. But in many cases, that never happened.
This week, Airbnb told hosts in Portland and Multnomah County to stop collecting taxes themselves. Instead, the website will start adding the city and county’s 11.5 percent hotel tax to all reservations booked on the site and paying the tax quarterly.
According to the company’s website, Portland is the first city in the country to strike such a tax collection deal. The company says it’s working on agreements with San Francisco and New York.
As part of the deal the Portland City Council is working on a code revision that would make short-term home rentals legal, if residents obtain a $180 permit and install fire alarms.
The deal will only apply to single family homes, not apartments, and people who wish to rent more than two rooms to travelers would have to apply for a $4,130 Bed and Breakfast permit.
The council will discuss the revisions in a hearing Wednesday.