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City, Airbnb reach deal on collecting lodging fees

Tessa Mentus
October 11, 2017 10:26 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Almost everyone in Albuquerque's hospitality and lodging business can't wait for October every year. There are a few hundred reasons why.

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But some Balloon Fiesta visitors book homes or rooms through Airbnb, free from lodging taxes or hospitality fees. Those fees do get charged at traditional hotels.

Starting Nov. 1, the City of Albuquerque and Airbnb will enter into a voluntary collection agreement. Basically, Airbnb will be in charge of collecting those lodging and hospitality fees when guests or hosts book somewhere in Albuquerque through the company's website and then turn over that money to the city.

The city claims that adds up to about $190,000 a year of out-of-towners' money.

"It allows people to rent out their homes and bedrooms for extra cash, but it also evens the playing field with properties like this where you have bricks and mortar and large-scale investments," Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry said.

Santa Fe and Taos already have similar agreements, along with about 300 jurisdictions globally. While Albuquerque's agreement goes into effect just after this year's Balloon Fiesta, it will definitely be in place for next year's event and more to come.

"It allows us to let them enjoy our beautiful city and also contribute to our local economy," Berry said.

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Tessa Mentus

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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