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Portland And Airbnb Settle On Room Tax Arrangements

OPB | March 27, 2014 8:04 p.m. | Portland

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Portland has struck a deal to collect a lodging tax on rooms booked through the house-sharing website Airbnb.  It could pave the way for similar agreements in other cities.

About 1500 Portland residents offer their rooms or homes for rent on Airbnb. Technically, they’re violating city codes.

“The legality of renting out a space in our home didn’t occur to me,” says Ada Kardos. You can book a room in her house in the Buckman neighborhood for $60.

This week the planning bureau said it wants to rewrite the law, to permit people to rent rooms in their homes for a day or two at a time.

Airbnb said it will help Portland collect a standard lodging tax, about 11 percent, from its users.  And distribute fire alarms.

Kardos  welcomes a little more regulation of her side business.

“It’s just another level of security for everyone all around.”

Portland is the first city in the U.S. reach a tax agreement with the sharing website. Traditional bed and breakfast owners say they hope the agreement will level the playing field.

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