A company that has travelers rent out a room or apartment by dealing with the owner of that home directly is taking a different approach in Sacramento. Many cities argue that Airbnb is operating just like a hotel, and therefore users should have to pay a tax, as they would with hotels. Travelers opt for Airbnb because it’s a cheaper option.
It took two years of back and forth before Airbnb and the city of San Francisco could agree how to exist peacefully.
On Thursday, the company will meet with Sacramento leaders to try and avoid the same fate.
Two years ago, Janna and Jeremy Maron heard about the site, and the idea resonated with them.
The Marons put up pictures of their Midtown apartment and verified travelers paid to stay through the website. There are about 400 listings in Sacramento.
They don’t compare themselves to a hotel room, but many cities say the business model is enough like a hotel that oversight is needed.
City spokesman Randy Knott says instead of waiting to see how the city would put regulations in place, Airbnb reached out to it.
One topic that’ll be discussed at Thursday’s meeting will be hotel-like taxes, which Knott says Airbnb users could eventually have to pay.
The Marons don’t have a problem with taxing customers, since the money will go to the upkeep of the city. But it remains to be seen how travelers who would pay the tax will feel.
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