Miami Airbnb operators dodged $16M in taxes in one year: report

Miami /
May.May 25, 2016 07:29 PM

Airbnb has grown exponentially in Miami, marking one of the top five markets for the short-term rentals website.

A new report shows that if municipalities collected the same taxes as other local lodging businesses in Miami, Airbnb operators would have owed nearly $16 million from October 2014 to September 2015.

And more than three quarters of Airbnb revenue in Miami came from operators who listed their properties for the majority of the year.

That means $93 million of revenue was generated from operators who listed their units for more than 180 days a year, according to a report released on Wednesday by the American Hotel & Lodging Association and Penn State University.

The report, which analyzed data from October 2014 to September 2015, also showed that Miami has the highest percentage of multi-unit operators of the 14 cities studied. Sixty-two percent of listings were from multi-unit operators who generated more than $76 million.

The report also shows:

  • Full-time operators – those who listed their units for rent more than 360 days per year – accounted for more than $47 million or nearly 40 percent of Airbnb’s revenue in the Miami area, a higher percentage than in any of the other cities studied.
  • Five Miami zip codes accounted for more than 65 percent, or $79 million, of Airbnb’s revenue:
    • South Beach, South Pointe, City Center | Revenue generated: $45.7 million
    • Bayshore, Mid-Beach | Revenue generated: $11.5 million
    • Golden Beach, Eastern Shores, Sunny Isles Beach | Revenue generated: $8.7 million
    • North Beach, North Bay Village | Revenue generated: $7.5 million
    • Downtown Miami, Brickell Key | Revenue generated: $5.9 million

In the report, AHLA president and CEO Katherine Lugar said a growing portion of Airbnb’s revenue comes from commercial landlords. “Policymakers in Miami, in Florida and across the country should act to ensure a fair travel marketplace by closing the illegal hotel loophole,” she said.

Oversight on short-term rentals in South Florida varies. Legislation passed in Florida in 2011 prohibits local governments from regulating and restricting vacation rentals. Local governments also can’t limit the duration or frequency of the rentals. But any regulations prior to that date still stand.

Airbnb has also taken a toll on the hotel industry, industry experts say, as the market reaches its peak in 2016.

The company has said that it “strongly opposes large-scale speculators who turn dozens of apartments into illegal hotel rooms.”


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