PORTLAND, Maine — Room booking site Airbnb will start collecting lodging taxes on behalf of its Maine hosts starting in April after reaching an agreement with the state.
The announcement comes as Gov. Paul LePage’s latest budget proposed requiring online booking sites to collect and remit taxes directly. The budget, which would take effect July 1, also proposes raising the lodging tax to 10 percent from 9 percent.
Airbnb said the agreement “is expected to grow the state’s tax base and allow the Airbnb community to contribute its fair share of taxes.”
LePage’s budget proposal seeks to have all “transient rental platforms,” including Airbnb and VRBO, begin collecting taxes for all listings at the time of booking.
That’s been an issue for licensed hoteliers in the state, who argue it’s only fair and it ensures that the cost of taxes are accurately reflected in prices when a potential guest is shopping around online.
Airbnb has steadily grown its share of Maine’s lodging market, with hosts making about $26 million last year as the number of guests doubled from 2015.