Philadelphia Proposing New Taxes Targeting Services Like Airbnb
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For those who travel via airplanes often, one of the biggest sensations sweeping the industry is Airbnb, a website dedicated to helping people rent out their private property to other travelers while out of town.
According to the Associated Press, the Airbnb service does not pay the same taxes as normal hotels in many cities, and Philadelphia is one of the first to step up and claim the money hotels must pay should also be applied to short-term home and room rentals.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and City Councilman William Greenlee agree that companies like Airbnb are providing a hotel service for customers and should be charged the same 8.5 percent hotel tax that other businesses have to deal with in Philly.
The city is looking to pass legislation that would adjust zoning rules for residential areas in order to collect the taxes from Airbnb. For long-term renters (over 31 days), Philadelphia would require a city-issued license.
One of the reasons the city of Philadelphia is trying to handle this situation now is the influx of visitors expected for a busy year of tourism. Between Pope Francis' visit in September and the Democratic National Convention next year, the city expects Airbnb and similar companies to thrive during those events.
Add in the steady stream of visitors who arrive in the city during the summer vacation months to witness the history and majesty of the metropolis, and government officials in the city of Philadelphia are just looking to get a piece of the pie.
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