Evanston and Airbnb Announce Tax Agreement
The City of Evanston and hospitality company Airbnb have finalized a tax agreement that will allow the company to collect and remit taxes on behalf of its Evanston hosts. Effective February 1, 2018, Airbnb will automatically collect and remit the Evanston Hotel/Motel and Vacation Rental Tax (7.5%) for taxable bookings, making the process seamless and easy for both Airbnb hosts and the City.
“With our beautiful lakefront, booming culinary scene, unique local shops, and world-renowned institutions like Northwestern University, Evanston has quickly become a top destination for visitors from near and far,” said Mayor Stephen Hagerty. “Home sharing allows even more visitors to stay in our community, patronize local businesses, and experience all that Evanston has to offer. I'm pleased that Airbnb has made it easy for hosts to share their homes while also contributing to the tax base and the vitality of Evanston.”
Airbnb has partnered with over 350 local governments throughout the U.S. to collect and remit taxes, help its hosts pay their fair share, and deliver new revenue to cities and states. However, some cities’ laws actually do not allow for short-term rentals to be taxed, which was previously the case in Evanston. With Airbnb’s support, Evanston amended its law to ensure short-term rentals fall under the same taxation rules as hotels, which allowed the City and Airbnb to enter into this agreement. If Airbnb’s bookings in 2018 are equal to 2017’s bookings, then $83,000 in new revenue will be remitted to the City of Evanston as a result of the ordinance change and the tax agreement.
Airbnb also has agreements in place to collect and remit taxes to Chicago and three other suburbs in Illinois. Guests in Evanston’s bnbs will pay the following taxes:
- City of Evanston - Evanston Hotel/Motel and Vacation Rental Tax
- State of Illinois - Illinois Hotel Operators Occupation Tax
- Cook County - Cook County Hotel Accommodations Tax
“Our hosts want to pay their fair share, and we want to help,” said Will Burns, Illinois policy director for Airbnb. “Our Evanston host community provides a tremendous service to the City by allowing more visitors to stay in Evanston and spend money with local businesses. This tax agreement will only enhance the economic impact by delivering a brand new revenue stream for the City.”
In addition to the income for local hosts, home sharing delivered significant value to Evanston in 2017, particularly by expanding lodging capacity during major events that cause Evanston’s four hotels to reach peak capacity. For example, by far the largest surge to Evanston in the history of Airbnb’s platform occurred on June 18, 2017, which coincided with Northwestern's commencement ceremony.
Airbnb is also seeking to collaborate on similar tax agreements with any cities that administer their own municipal occupancy taxes. Illinois municipalities interested in Airbnb tax agreements can contact the company at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, please call/text 847-448-4311. For convenience, you may dial 311 directly while in Evanston.
Founded in 2008, Airbnb’s mission is to create a world where people can belong when they travel by being connected to local cultures and having unique travel experiences. Its community marketplace provides access to millions of unique accommodations from apartments and villas to castles and treehouses in more than 65,000 cities and 191 countries.