Indiana lawmakers debate whether to tax Airbnb operators

Posted at 11:46 PM, May 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-01 23:48:08-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Airbnb business could get more expensive in Indiana soon if state lawmakers decide operators need to be taxed.

Some local businesses argue that the rentals aren’t on a level playing field because bed and breakfasts, hotels and motels all pay sales and innkeepers fees.

But Airbnb operators say that paying taxes could have a big impact on people who rent their homes and apartments – and could make them decide not to do it anymore.

“The small mom and pop shop, the Airbnb renting their home, they’re really going to get heavy with these taxes,” said Rachel Prince. “I don’t know if that’s going to be quite fair for them.”

Gary Hofmeister, the owner of Old Northside Bed and Breakfast, says the current system isn’t fair to him and Airbnb’s take away from his business.

"Why not? If they’re making a little business of it, I don't see why they shouldn't pay that,” said Hofmeister. "We are not large hotel corporations. We're not the Hiltons. We're not the Trumps. We don't have the marketing budget." 

Visit Indy estimates Marion County would have received more than $1 million in the last year if Airbnb operators had been paying taxes.

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