A Vancouver city Councillor is looking to book a solution to B.C.’s Airbnb question by taking taxes to the service itself.
Geoff Meggs says many hosts have been dodging taxes, and the best way to crack down would be to collect them from short-term sites themselves, and he’s calling on the province to act.
“They’ve been allowing people using some of these online platforms to not pay the provincial sales tax and hotel tax. And my view is that the online platforms like Airbnb should be collecting that tax because they’re the point of sale.”
Meggs says it’s virtually impossible for goverments to track Airbnb hosts themselves. But he says collecting from the rental sites would be easy, and they could then recoup costs from the hosts.
READ MORE: The commercial impact of Airbnb in Vancouver
He says taking action could help the city, and other B.C. towns handle a rising rental crisis.
“I think if they did that it would have the effect of levelling the playing field, and probably reducing the pressure in cities like ours, but also towns like Tofino and Nelson and Whistler where they’re wrestling with it as well.”
Council will vote on Meggs’ motion at the end of the month, before pitching it to the Union of B.C. Municipalities.
The city is also working on its own Airbnb policy, which could be rolled out as early as September.