In the year since home-sharing company Airbnb signed tax deals in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, it's paid both counties millions more in taxes than it originally promised.
The company told the Miami Herald this week that it collected $8.4 million from Miami-Dade County hosts over the past year and remitted that money back to the county, just as hotels do. The figure is higher than what Airbnb projected in May 2017, when it first inked the deal with the promise of at least $6 million in taxes to the county.
The final figure was higher in Broward County too, where Airbnb had projected it would collect and remit $1 million in its first year paying county resort taxes. The actual figure was $3.7 million.
That's not entirely Airbnb's doing. This year, Broward County increased its resort tax from 5 percent to 6 percent. Airbnb collected 5 percent from May through December 2017 and then began collecting 6 percent in January.
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In Broward County, the Airbnb tax deal passed unanimously last year. But it was hotly debated in Miami-Dade, where several commissioners voiced concerns that taxation in a way legitimized the business, which is either regulated or outlawed in areas of the county. Under the deal, Airbnb collects the 6 percent Miami-Dade resort tax on a monthly basis and the 3 percent convention tax from hosts in Miami Beach. The agreement excludes the resort tax in Miami Beach and Bal Harbour because each city has its own resort tax set at 4 percent and 3 percent, respectively.
At the time, both counties said they would pursue similar agreements with other short-term rental companies that also have a local presence, such as HomeAway and VRBO. In December, Broward signed a deal with HomeAway to collect and remit the 6 percent tourist development tax. Miami-Dade has yet to sign any such deal with another platform.
In October, when Miami-Dade passed new short-term rental rules for residents in unincorporated Miami-Dade, Commissioner Rebeca Sosa said other companies should pay taxes as well, and those deals should be retroactive to the time that Airbnb started paying taxes: May 2017.
"If one is paying, the other ones have to do the same," Sosa said in October.
As of this month, there is no potential county legislation in the pipeline with other companies.