Airbnb will start collecting and remitting the City of Tulsa’s 5 percent lodging tax on bookings in the city starting March 1.
City Chief of Community Development and Policy Nick Doctor said there are two reasons for structuring the voluntary agreement that way.
"First, we wanted to ensure that we have an equal playing field between our hotel community that’s here and this emerging technology as it becomes more prominent in Tulsa," Doctor said. "Two, we wanted to do that in a way that didn’t place a burden on Airbnb hosts, in particular."
The city lodging tax will be charged to Airbnb guests. The company said there were more than 16,000 stays in Tulsa last year, with the average lasting three nights.
The City of Tulsa joins more than 350 governments to strike a tax agreement with Airbnb, including the state of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City. Airbnb is the only short-term rental website Tulsa has struck a deal with.
"We haven’t begun any negotiations yet. We really wanted to get this agreement with Airbnb in place to serve as a framework going forward for conversations with other organizations," Doctor said.
Tulsa city councilors are still working on short-term rental ordinances. The zoning code currently classifies them as bed and breakfasts, meaning owners need a permit to operate.