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Hotel owners demand 16% tax on Airbnb rentals

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Online rentals will likely be taxed, but to what degree? Photo: Airbnb

Mérida, Yucatán — Airbnb hosts in Yucatán should pay 16 percent tax, the regional hotel chamber suggests.

Mexico City and other regions have begun to collect a modest 3 percent tax on rental homes, but that hardly gives hotels a level playing field with private citizens renting spaces online, says Hector Navarrete Medina, leader of the chamber.

Since March, state officials have discussed adding a tax on lodging that is booked online. HomeAway and VRBO are other examples of online sites that compete with hotels and guest houses. 

Up to 800 rental homes, villas, apartments or single rooms in Yucatán are offered on Airbnb, the so-called Uber of lodging. 

Airbnb has cooperated with authorities elsewhere. If directed to do so, the platform directly pays the government through a “collect and remit” function that automatically takes care of this for homeowners.

Mexico City’s tax will be applied to tourism promotion to the tune of 40 million pesos a year.

With information from Sipse

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