Airbnb guests in Yucatán will notice 3% lodging tax starting June 1

Airbnb rentals are unfair competition to hotels, a trade group charges. Photo illustration/Staff
Photo illustration/Staff

Airbnb guests will be directly responsible for paying the 3 percent state Lodging Tax in Yucatán, the booking portal announced to its landlords.

Starting June 1, when guests make a reservation, the app or website will add a line at checkout to indicate the tax. Airbnb will arrange for authorities to receive the tax revenue.

That means homeowners cannot quietly raise their rates to cover the tax.

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The new tax is also expected to apply to similar online booking platforms.

Taxes will be collected in aggregate, by jurisdiction, meaning no personal data will be collected or attached to the revenue.

The lodging tax, paid by hotel guests, raised 44 million pesos for the state tourism fund at the end of 2017, and is projected to raise 50 million pesos this year.

Airbnb urges those who rent spaces to know and comply with tax obligations, which can be found in the Local Legislation tab. Travelers must also be informed about taxes prior to the reservation confirmation.

The new tax comes after the hotel lobby complained to state legislators that Airbnb lodgers were unfairly absolved of taxes and regulation. Twelve new hotels — with a combined 2,100 rooms — will open this year.

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Saúl Ancona Salazar, head of the state tourism development agency, said that move also generates data on Airbnb’s popularity, which is valuable information for anyone interested in building on the regions’s tourist economy.

Last year, 75,000 travelers searched 4,000 Airbnb listings in Yucatán, according to the platform’s records.

With information from La Jornada Maya

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