The Real Deal Miami

Airbnb to start collecting resort tax in Surfside on March 1

Surfside is one of three municipalities in Miami-Dade to have its own resort tax
January 17, 2017 10:30AM

Surfside. Inset: Airbnb founders Joe Gebbia, Nathan Blecharczyk and Brian Chesky

Airbnb has cracked South Florida.

The short-term rental platform signed a deal with the town of Surfside to begin collecting and remitting taxes on March 1, marking the first municipality in South Florida to do so. 

Through the voluntary collection agreement, Airbnb will collect Surfside’s 4 percent resort tax from its hosts and submit them to the town. The average host earned $5,700 a year in Surfside, and the majority of the town’s 2,000 Airbnb users in 2016 came from Atlanta, Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, New York City and San Diego, according to Airbnb.

Surfside is one of three municipalities in Miami-Dade to have its own resort tax, which is separate from the county’s bed tax. Short-term regulations in Surfside, which are available online, require short-term renters to register with the town, and limit registrations to three within a 12-month period.

The other two municipalities that have their own resort taxes are Bal Harbour and Miami Beach. Airbnb does not collect those taxes, however.

In Miami-Dade, hosts earned the most out of any other county at $113 million in 2016, and the tri-county area’s hosts raked in a combined $160 million, Airbnb said in December.

South Florida has proven to be a more challenging market for Airbnb when it comes to regulation and taxation. While the short-term rental giant is now collecting and remitting taxes in 35 counties include Hillsborough and Pinellas (the Tampa area), Orange, Brevard and Lee, it has yet to reach an agreement with Miami-Dade. Airbnb has been in talks with Miami-Dade for more than a year, and has said that it’s closer to reaching an agreement. It’s also collecting the state’s 6 percent tax on behalf of its hosts, which came out to more than $20 million last year.

This year, the company plans to sign tax agreements with Miami Beach and Bal Harbour, in addition to the remaining 28 counties in Florida.

Miami Beach has tightened regulations in recent months, increasing fines and protocol for short-term renters. – Katherine Kallergis