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The Gulf Shores City Council approved a tax agreement yesterday evening between the City and Airbnb that authorizes the company to collect the local lodging tax on behalf of its Gulf Shores hosts and remit the revenue directly to the city.Once signed, Gulf Shores will benefit from people visiting the region and staying longer through home sharing. Effective November 1st, Airbnb will automatically collect and remit the Gulf Shores Lodging Tax (7%) for taxable bookings, making the process seamless and efficient for local Airbnb hosts and the city.
Gulf Shores is the #1 most popular city for Airbnb guests in Alabama. Local Gulf Shores hosts and homeowners have welcomed over 42,000 guests to the city in the past year.
“We recognize the importance for our city to be able to work collaboratively with companies like Airbnb,” said Mayor Robert Craft. “This agreement will provide Airbnb hosts with a seamless lodging tax collection process and will ensure our community continues to benefit from this important revenue stream.”
Collecting and remitting hotel taxes can be incredibly complicated. The rules were designed for traditional hospitality providers and large hotel corporations with teams of lawyers and accountants. For this reason, Airbnb has partnered with over 370 local governments throughout the U.S. to collect and remit taxes, making the process easy for hosts to pay their fair share while contributing new revenue for local governments.
Of Airbnb’s 370 U.S. tax partnerships, this now marks the company’s seventh in Alabama. In 2016, Airbnb announced a historic agreement with the State of Alabama to collect state lodging taxes on all bookings throughout the state. Airbnb also has agreements with Auburn, Orange Beach, Tuscaloosa, Opelika and most recently Birmingham to collect and remit their respective city lodging taxes.
Statewide data indicates that the home sharing community is complementing — rather than competing with — the Alabama hotel industry. According to a recent report from the Alabama Tourism Department, in 2017 Alabama hotels experienced growth in occupancy rates, prices and overall supply — in parallel with Airbnb growth. This suggests that Alabamians sharing their homes via Airbnb are opening up the state to a new demographic of tourists by catering to travelers who are less able to afford hotels, those who desire to stay in neighborhoods or cities that lack hotels, and families who prefer to vacation together under one roof.