AirBnB and other informal services where residents rent out their homes have remained in an ambiguous space, largely unregulated by the same agencies and rules that govern hotels. But as those rental have grown in numbers (and market share), so has grown the City’s interest in taxing them.
Last Friday, the City of Bend sent a press release announcing it will conduct an audit of rental properties, like AirBnB. The audit comes on the heels of the announcement that the City of Bend will ask residents to approve an increase on the Transient Room Tax from 9 to 11 percent in November.
The press release explained that the audit is “an effort to increase awareness and compliance with the TRT code.” Translation: AirBnB is being swept into the more formal rules that govern hotels—which includes taxes.
In plain language the press release announced: “The City has contracted with an independent firm, MuniServices, specializing in tax compliance audits for local governments, to perform a compliance audit and establish a comprehensive list of vacation rentals currently out of compliance with the TRT code. The audit is scheduled to take place through August. Following this initial audit, the City will continue efforts to enforce TRT compliance amongst rental properties.”
Meaning: If you have an AirBnB, time to pony up a business fee and start paying city taxes. Last year, AirBnB began issuing forms for federal tax compliance.