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Broome County reaches occupancy-tax agreement with Airbnb

By Charles McChesney


BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — Airbnb, the online rental service, will start paying occupancy taxes to Broome County under a new agreement.

The online service, which allows homeowners and others to rent out space in their own properties, estimates it will pay the county $27,000 a year.

Jerome Knebel, Broome County’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, says the agreement has been in the works for six to eight months and was approved by county legislators at their May meeting.

Under the agreement, Airbnb will pay the county’s 5 percent occupancy tax, transmitting funds quarterly.

The occupancy tax, Knebel says, is dedicated to economic development, including marketing materials, support for the zoo, and other “growth-type ideas.”

While the expected $27,000 is less than 2 percent of the $1.93 million in occupancy taxes Broome County collected in 2017, it represents taxes on $540,000 of rental income. “It’s not insignificant,” says Knebel.

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