Wisconsin gets more than expected from Airbnb tax agreement

Home rental service remits $2.5 million

Airbnb's homepage.

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:19 am

Home rental service Airbnb paid more than $2.5 million in occupancy tax revenue to the State of Wisconsin in the first year of its tax agreement with the state.

The amount was far more than expected. Airbnb estimated it would generate “hundreds of thousands of dollars” each year when the agreement was finalized in June 2017, and the state Department of Revenue estimated $700,000 based on 2016 numbers. The agreement went into effect July 1, 2017.

Airbnb attributed the higher-than-expected revenue to the increasing popularity of its service in Wisconsin. More than 260,000 guests stayed in Wisconsin Airbnb rentals in the year ending July 1, up 78 percent from the prior year.

Airbnb now collects 5 percent Wisconsin sales tax, as well as local taxes including county sales and use tax, the Miller Park Stadium District tax, local exposition taxes and premier resort area taxes, for its hosts on the home rental platform, and remits that revenue to the state.

The company has separate agreements in place with the cities of Madison, Green Bay and Racine to collect local taxes.

There are about 4,900 Airbnb hosts in Wisconsin, who rent all or part of their homes to travelers.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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