The city announced Wednesday the online room-booking platform has entered into a “voluntary collection agreement” under which Airbnb will begin collecting the fees and taxes by Nov. 1 and hand them over to the city by Dec. 25.
The release estimates the revenue for Albuquerque will be approximately $190,000 annually. According to an Airbnb report released in September, summer bookings with the company in New Mexico increased 77 percent in 2017 over the previous year. More than 64,000 guests booked rooms in Albuquerque using Airbnb between June and August.
Half of the tax revenue will go to promotion and advertising for tourists and the other half will be used for debt services to repay lodgers tax/hospitality fee revenue bonds, according to the release.
The lodgers’ tax is imposed on people staying at hotels and other commercial properties in the hospitality industry. The tax is typically added to the room rate. Industry officials had raised concerns that Airbnb had an unfair advantage on rates because it wasn’t collecting the tax.
Revenue from the lodgers’ tax in Albuquerque goes towards advertising and tourism promotion. In fiscal year 2016, the tax brought more than $11 million.
Airbnb will be collecting the tax as part of the agreement, relieving hosts from having to file the taxes.
“I think it’s a great move on the part the city,” said Charlie Gray, executive director of the Greater Albuquerque Innkeepers Association. “In the end its a win-win for the hotel industry and for the folks that operate Airbnb because it will mean more visitors to our city.”
According to the release, the agreement will also provide new marketing relations between Airbnb and local marketing organizations like VisitABQ and the Hispano Chamber of Commerce.
Last year, the City Lodgers Tax Advisory Board and the Greater Albuquerque Innkeepers Association voted to support the agreement with Airbnb.
In the last two years Santa Fe, Taos and Red River have all entered similar agreements with the online booking platform.