US: Vacation rental platform HomeAway and the ski town of Steamboat Springs signed an automatic tax collection agreement.
The small town, famous for its vacation rentals, hopes the agreement will make it easy for property owners to start listing on the platform.
The agreement confirms that any homeowner advertising their property on HomeAway or its subsidiaries will have taxes automatically collected and remitted to the city by the company. The agreement will take effect on the first of March, supplementing the existing agreement with Airbnb, which went into effect in November.
Kim Weber, city finance director, said: “It does make life easier for us, but really, it makes life easier for the homeowners that are renting their properties. We’re OK managing all the multiple tax license holders, but what was difficult was for the property owners to process tax one way for the state and a different way for the city.”
According to AirDNA research, 3,496 rentals are active in Steamboat Springs, with 20 per-cent of those listed only on Vrbo, a HomeAway company. Nearly half of all the properties in the town are listed on either Vrbo or Airbnb.
The process was complicated after the companies signed agreements with Colorado State and Routt County responding to new state laws. Weber noted a separate agreement needed to be signed due to the structure of the city’s tax code.
She added: “Major changes were made to the Vrbo website that impacted the homeowners’ ability to collect and remit tax easily. Ultimately, these changes led to the decision to enter into this agreement.”
Homeaway and Vrbo have been seeing improvement in growth over the past year. Homeaway has been launching its virtual tour services around the world, improving marketing, while Vrbo had a change in leadership, as Jeff Hurst replaced John Kim.