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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Airbnb announces $85 million in room occupancy tax collections

By The Star Staff

Airbnb announced on Monday the collection of the room occupancy taxes in Puerto Rico amounting to more than $85 million since the signing of the voluntary collection agreement in 2017.

“We are pleased to be collaborators in Puerto Rico with the voluntary collection of the room tax and also to help Puerto Ricans obtain extra income,” said Carlos Muñoz, director of Public Policy for Airbnb Central America and the Caribbean, in a written statement. “A year after Airbnb’s participation in the public hearings of the House of Representatives on Bill 1557, Airbnb reiterates its support for an islandwide regulation that allows the orderly growth of short-term accommodations so that more people can earn extra income and thus contribute to the redistribution of tourism in Puerto Rico. Municipalities are also a key player in this orderly growth and in the redistribution of tourism, so Airbnb understands the need for a collection item of the Occupancy Canon that is proposed in Senate Bill 936.”

Muñoz noted that the room tax has been collected in Puerto Rico since 2017, due to a voluntary collection agreement (VCA) reached between the Tourism Company and Airbnb.

In 2014, the first VCAs were signed with San Francisco and Portland, and since then Airbnb has worked with thousands of jurisdictions globally – through agreements or laws – to lighten the administrative burden on local governments and simplify the process of collecting and submitting a number of taxes on behalf of hosts on Airbnb, such as the room tax collection.

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