PINELLAS CO., Fla (WFLA) – Love them or hate them, Airbnb rentals are making a major economic impact in the Tampa Bay area.
Florida’s 60,000 home rentals listed on Airbnb in 2018 saw $89.5 million in the state’s bed tax revenue. That number skyrocketed this year, yielding more than $136.7 million in tax revenue to the Sunshine State.
About $39.7 million of that total came from Florida’s bed tax revenue, up from $27 million in 2018.
Florida’s bed tax – generally used to fund local tourism efforts – requires Airbnb guests to pay anywhere from a 4 to 6 percent tax as part of their reservation. It currently impacts 44 of the state’s 67 counties. Only six Tampa Bay counties are impacted: Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota.
Pinellas County collected the third-highest amount in tax revenue in the state at $4.5 million. They were behind Broward County which collected $7.5 million and Miami-Dade County which collected $13.3 million in revenue.
Hillsborough and Sarasota counties follow with $2 million and $1.8 million respectively.
2019 AirBnB bed tax revenue
Hover over the bars to see the numbers.
The report comes as Sarasota residents are growing increasingly unhappy with the influx of Airbnb renters.
Between 2017 and 2018, the number of Airbnb renters in Sarasota County grew from 67,000 to 100,000 with almost 1,300 listings across multiple vacation rental platforms.
Last year, rental analytics website All the Rooms called Sarasota one of the fastest-growing vacation markets in the country.
But neighbors remain concerned about property values.
Sarasota County Commissioners have fielded dozens of complaints from residents, concerned that Airbnb renters will ruin the county’s sleepy, scenic neighborhoods.
A community meeting will be held by the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations on Friday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m.
The meeting promises to “address the varied and complex issues of short-term rentals.”
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