Airbnb says it is cooperating with the city on the occupancy tax and other issues to do with the sharing economy as well as ‘collaborating with the Mayor’s Sharing Economy Working Group’.
The working group was unveiled in late March by San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee and other senior city officials to develop policies and modernise laws to encourage the growth of collaborative businesses.
The Mayor’s chief innovation officer then called on the Treasurer to halt implementation of its interpretation of the occupancy tax.
However, a spokesman for the Office of Treasurer says:
“Anyone who collects rent needs to collect the tax from the occupant. They asked for us not to issue the regulation but the regulation did not change the law, it was just providing an interpretation. It would not have changed anyone’s obligation.”
He adds that the Office of Treasurer is also participating in the Sharing Economy Working Group but that he is unaware of any proposed new legislation.
“I do know the Mayor is getting people together to recommend ideas.”
Airbnb, meanwhile, is maintaining its position that staying in someone’s spare room is different than staying in a hotel.
“We do not shy away from tax obligations, nor do we believe that all types of private residential rentals should be excluded from transient occupancy tax in all situations. Â We will continue to cooperate with the City and the Tax Collector’s Office and look forward to the opportunity to work together on potential new tax policy and rules for collection for the temporary rental of space in private residences.”