Airbnb.com Ordered to Collect Hotel Fee from San Francisco Customers

By: Brian Shields - Wed, 04 Apr 2012 13:59:37 -0800

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) -- Mayor Ed Lee says he still hopes to talk San Francisco's treasurer out of charging a hotel occupancy tax to people who use the Internet service Airbnb.com.

Treasurer Joe Cisneros' office is ordering the on-line company to start charging and collecting the 15% tax which is charged to everyone who books a hotel or motel room the in city.

The mayor is opposed to the ruling saying Airbnb.com is just the kind of technology company he wants to see come to San Francisco.

"Innovative new models that allow San Franciscans to generate additional income should be addressed by innovative laws and policies," said Kim Rubey, an Airbnb spokeswoman.

Officials with Cisneros' office say they're not changing the rules, just explaining them to companies like Airbnb.com

The mayor's office says it still hopes to have discussions with the treasurer about whether charging the fee to the company' customers is "appropriate."  The company says about 4,600 San Franciscans have let travelers stay in their homes since the site went online.

(Copyright 2012, KRON 4, All rights reserved.)
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