If you thought Airbnb was a San Francisco phenomenon, wake up!
Richmond has two ways of taxing lodgings. Richmond Municipal Code Section 7.88, Uniform Transient Occupancy tax, requires lodging facilities to register with the City and pay 10% of the amount paid for occupancy. Richmond Municipal Code Section 13.57 established the Richmond Tourism Business Improvement District and The Richmond Convention And Visitors Bureau, recently renamed the Richmond Tourism Business Improvement District, requires each lodging to pay a set fee for each rental.
According to the Airbnb website, there are dozens of rentals ranging from the “Zen Retreat” shown below for a mere $700 a night to a bargain $80 per night “artist loft” in the Iron Triangle. Judging from the reviews that are published with each listing, they are doing plenty of business, and customers are ecstatic. This seems to be a good thing for Richmond.
We don’t know how many of these, if any, are registered and paying taxes, but I have asked City staff review it.
It turns out I know the owners of several of the Airbnb listings, and some are even my neighbors. They probably won’t be too happy with this, but I have no intention of turning them in. I just want them to pay their taxes.
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