Airbnb

Court Backs Vacation-Rental Platforms In Tax Dispute

Mar 25, 2020
CHARLIE ORTEGA GUIFARRO / Miami Herald file

TALLAHASSEE — Calling the companies “simply conduits,” a divided appeals court Wednesday said Airbnb and similar vacation-rental platforms are not required to collect and send in county tourist-development taxes.

A panel of the 4th District Court of Appeal, in a 2-1 decision, upheld a circuit judge’s ruling in favor of Airbnb, Tripadvisor and HomeAway in a battle with Palm Beach County Tax Collector Anne Gannon over collection of the so-called “bed taxes.”

Controversial Vacation Rental Proposal On The Move

Feb 11, 2020
RYAN DAILEY / WFSU

TALLAHASSEE — A long-running dispute over vacation rentals is heating up, as a Senate panel Tuesday approved a proposal that would give the state — not local officials — control over regulation of short-term rentals.

Ignoring the pleas of dozens of local officials from throughout the state, the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee approved the measure (SB 1128) in a 3-2 party-line vote.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Manny Diaz Jr., R-Hialeah, would “preempt” regulation of vacation rentals, including licensing and inspection, to the state.

CHARLIE ORTEGA GUIFARRO / MIAMI HERALD

Miami-Dade County is considering loosening restrictions on short-term rental companies even as hundreds of home hotels operate within its limits illegally.

Airbnb plans to rid the short-term rental website of “party houses,” the CEO announced after five people died in a shooting at an Airbnb party house outside of San Francisco on Halloween night.

Airbnb has launched its “Open Homes Program,” which provides free housing to displaced residents and disaster relief workers impacted by Hurricane Dorian. The program is available through Sept. 16.

More than 800 Airbnb hosts have opened their doors in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama. You can check available listings here.

Updated Sept. 6 at 2:40 p.m. ET

Ulrik Binzer used to rent out his house north of San Francisco on Airbnb. It was enough money to pay for his family to fly to Denmark to visit relatives. But then his town suddenly banned short-term rentals.

Binzer says there was no debate — it was just an agenda item. "No one knew about it," he says.

It left him wondering: What's going on here?

That's how Binzer became a new sort of sheriff for the digital age.

Miami Herald

While traveling in Israel this week, Gov. Ron DeSantis has twice said Florida should lift economic sanctions on the home-sharing platform Airbnb after the company reversed course on a move to delist about 200 West Bank properties.

Early this year, the governor said the company’s policy to remove listings in the West Bank, an area that is a major flash point in Israeli-Palestinian relations, was “dumb” and “discriminatory,” and pushed for sanctions. In early April, the company changed its policy.

PBS

The Florida Cabinet is planning to hold its next meeting in Israel next month.

 

Gov. Ron DeSantis said the trip’s main purpose is to promote investment in the state.

Airbnb will allow listings in the occupied West Bank — again.

On Tuesday, the property rental company reversed a previous decision to remove about 200 listings in Israeli settlements in the area.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

One of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ campaign pledges was to make Israel the first foreign country he visits in office. DeSantis came to South Florida on Tuesday to announce he’s keeping that promise – and that he’ll do more than just visit Israel.

Monroe County Code Compliance

If you look for vacation rentals in the Florida Keys, you may notice a lot of boats offered as lodging. Now Monroe County has brought a code compliance case against one of the owners.

Michael Dewitt says he's put $130,000 into fixing up his 40-foot sportfishing boat, docked behind his house on Little Torch Key.

So when a property manager approached him about renting it as a vacation rental on Airbnb, he agreed.

"It sat behind my house empty, I had a couple of neighbors that were doing the exact same thing - that are still doing the exact same thing," he said.

Sam Turken / WLRN

Gov. Ron DeSantis threatened on Tuesday to sanction Airbnb over what he called the home-sharing platform's anti-Semitic move to cease its operations along Israel's West Bank. The company has removed more than 200 listings in Israeli settlements in recent months, due to the dispute the homes have fueled with Palestinians.

Flanked by South Florida Jewish community leaders at the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County in Boca Raton, DeSantis said Airbnb's decision violates a state law that prohibits Florida from working with companies that boycott Israel.

In the year since home-sharing company Airbnb signed tax deals in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, it's paid both counties millions more in taxes than it originally promised.

C.M. Guerrero cguerrero@miamiherald.com

After claims of racial discrimination on its platform, home-sharing site Airbnb is partnering with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to attract more black hosts and guests to its site.

And they're launching the national program in Miami-Dade County.

Airbnb and NAACP will pilot the effort in Miami Gardens and Little Haiti, the partners announced Wednesday. They expect to expand to other cities nationwide in the future.

Aglez the city guy/Flickr

Florida International University (FIU) in Miami has a starring role in a plot twist involving the ongoing saga between the hotel industry and home-sharing companies like Airbnb. 

FIU, a state university that gets some of its funding from Florida taxpayers, had been selected for a grant worth over $68,000 from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AHLEF). The grant would have been used to study the safety and security of short-term rentals like Airbnb.

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