Tom Butt
  E-Mail Forum – 2015  
  < RETURN  
  Richmonders Cashing in on the Alternative Economy
June 15, 2015

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.

View from street

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.

Want to receive TOM BUTT E-FORUM and other action alerts on Richmond political and community issues delivered to your email address? Email your name and email address and/or the names and email addresses of others who would like to be placed on the mailing list and the message "subscribe" to Comments, arguments and corrections are welcome.  Tom Butt is a member of the Richmond City Council   when opinions and views expressed, without other attribution, in TOM BUTT E-FORUM, they are those of Tom Butt and do not reflect official views or positions of the City of Richmond or the Richmond City Council unless otherwise noted. Visit the Tom Butt website for additional information about Tom Butt's activities on the Richmond City Council:  Phone 510/236-7435 or 510/237-2084. Subscription to this service is at the personal discretion of the recipient and may be terminated by responding with “unsubscribe.” It may take a few days to remove addresses from the distribution list.

This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

To the extent that content is excerpted under the fair use doctrine from other media, I urge readers to subscribe to the print versions of these media to help support professional journalism and the businesses that publish news, and I urge readers to log in to the online versions to access additional content, related content and unrelated news. I especially appreciate local sources of news that include the Contra Costa Times , the San Francisco Chronicle, Richmond Confidential and the East Bay Express.