The Real Deal Miami

Airbnb to collect room taxes in Puerto Rico

Airbnb hosts in Puerto Rico took in $28 million of rental revenue last year
July 02, 2017 01:00PM

An Airbnb tiny-house property in Arecibo, Puerto Rico (Source: Airbnb)

Home-sharing platform Airbnb reached an agreement to collect room taxes from hosts who list homes in Puerto Rico as short-term rentals on Airbnb’s website.

Ricardo Rossello, the governor of Puerto Rico, said the government of the U.S. territory has collected only about a fifth of the tax revenue that Airbnb hosts should pay.

Rossello said he expects better compliance after Airbnb starts overseeing room-tax collection, starting in August.

The deal with Airbnb comes at a time when the Puerto Rican government is grappling with a shortage of revenue and trying to restructure part of its $73 billion public debt.

San Francisco-based Airbnb has more than 4,300 hosts and 7,100 listings in Puerto Rico, which had more than 250,000 Airbnb guests last year.

Airbnb hosts in Puerto Rico collected $28 million of rental revenue last year, or an average of $5,700 per host.

The Airbnb deal with the Puerto Rican government is the company’s second tax-collection agreement in the Caribbean. Airbnb signed the first one last month with the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands. [Daily Business Review]Mike Seemuth