Home Main Category Announcements Airbnb​ ​And​ ​City​ ​Of​ ​Orinda​ ​Reach​ ​Tax​ ​Agreement,​ ​Airbnb​ ​To​ ​Begin​ ​Voluntarily​...

Airbnb​ ​And​ ​City​ ​Of​ ​Orinda​ ​Reach​ ​Tax​ ​Agreement,​ ​Airbnb​ ​To​ ​Begin​ ​Voluntarily​ ​Collecting​ ​Taxes​ ​October​ ​1

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Airbnb has partnered with the City of Orinda on a new tax agreement, collecting and remitting the 8.5% Transient Occupancy Tax on all eligible bookings in the city.

Guests will be charged the appropriate tax on their Airbnb bill and the company will then remit to the city the taxes collected.

“Airbnb hosts in Orinda offer travelers an opportunity to experience Easy Bay living like a local, and we are excited to partner with the city to make it easier for our hosts and guests to pay their fair share of taxes,” said Marisa Moret, Airbnb Public Policy Manager. “Orinda is a great option for business travelers and for families looking for affordable Bay Area accommodations and we look forward to continued work with the city to welcome more guests to the the region!”

The City’s recently-adopted Short-Term Rental (STR) ordinance, which requires registration and imposes some new rules on STRs, becomes effective on October 5. With this new agreement, Orinda joins a list of more than 310 jurisdictions globally where Airbnb has collected and remitted more than $300 million in hotel and tourist taxes.

16 COMMENTS

  1. I guess the Danville city council has more common sense than Orinda. Airbnb hosts and guests are cheap, foolish and greedy. How flakey can you get?

  2. Wow! That is a pretty broad insult! She insulted us airbnb scumbags and the Orinda council all in one fell swoop.
    Danielle seems to be saying, when you have all the money you need, free enterprise is so gauche!
    Per Danielle, 7/14/2016 on this website, her friend informed her “if you need the money that badly, you probably don’t belong in Orinda.” That is, if you engage in this dirty business of providing lodging for money, you don’t belong here. Count me among the flakes who believe in free markets, subject to reasonable constraints such as registration and paying hotel taxes to cover any additional costs to the city.

  3. I guess the Orinda city council has more common sense (and respect for personal liberty) than Danville. Airbnb hosts and guests are financially sensible, diverse and generous to share their homes and cash in pursuit of a better way for short-term stays. How much more American can you get?

  4. I wonder what sort of impact Airbnb has had on traditional lodging businesses like hotels and extended stay businesses?

  5. We all have our “pet peeves.” While others are annoyed by barking dogs, leaf blowers and removal of trees, all three don’t bother me. To each his own.

    HIGHLY UNREGULATED businesses (Airbnb, craigslist, Uber, etc.) will always bother me, and rightfully so. While other companies are REGULATED, and abide by THE LAWS, highly unregulated break the laws. As a law abiding citizen, it bothers me. All highly unregulated businesses should be SHUT DOWN! Your home is not a hotel, and there are zoning laws in residential areas.

    This has nothing to do with money, and everything to do with COMMON SENSE. After what happened in Orinda ($875 a night – a young man in a coma) you would think that would be taken into consideration. I guess not. $875 a night is GREED – hardly a discount. I thought the whole idea of airbnb was a “better deal?”

    Also – per airbnb – the customers of airbnb are usually college students and six figure income customers. If you’re making six figures and refuse to stay in a hotel or bed and breakfast – you’re CHEAP.

    Most people are alienated by airbnb hosts. They just keep it to themselves. I’m certainly not this outspoken and opinionated in real life – lol.

    Hotels and extended stays ARE affected by this, and we all end up paying for it. But according to David, we’re the Rockefellers – so I guess it doesn’t matter.

    When it comes to comments – thicken your skin. Only the strong survive.

    Chris, I remember you said on another airbnb thread that “it’s not greedy, just dumb.” Which is it?

    At least I stick to my guns. They remain loaded…

    • @Danielle – We don’t always agree with you and you have a way of pushing some buttons but that has been said of us more than once. We do enjoy your posts, is that strange? – we think not. We also note that your positions, while always yours and sometimes unique, are also reasoned and explained and always fall within our guidelines for discussion on these pages. We never expected everyone to fall in line with every comment expressed here, but we’ll just take a moment to say thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  6. @Danielle said “All highly unregulated businesses should be SHUT DOWN!” Gulp. Really? Totalitarian much?

    Your memory is better than mine. I only promise to (try to) be internally-consistent on a post-by-post basis. 😉 Above, I was obviously try to be cute ant parrot (the inverse of) you post.

    Airbnb is for sure greedy (in the best Gordon Gecko-esque way). Are they dumb? I dunno– I wish I were as dumb as their founders and early investors (since that sort of dumb helps sate my greed).

    Kidding aside, I think regulation makes sense when it attempts to create clear rules that all would, ex ante, agree were a fair way to respect each others’ freedoms. I object to regulation designed to stifle (versus facilitate) mutually-beneficial trade. Paying a “fair share” of taxes seems to meet that test. I might also use some of that tax revenue to pay for a few minutes of cops’ time who might need to make a courtesy call to an Airbnb guest who fails to observe common courtesy in terms of noise and disruption. I’d be upset, for example, if my neighbor started renting out their place for house parties.

  7. Danielle, when we last were ‘discussing’ (on this site) the AirBnB issue, I had invited you to come and check out our AirBnb unit, which had a banner year, despite raising the price. That offer still stands. You can stay a night or two for free, with the hopes that you might at the very least educate yourself and hopefully, even enjoy your stay. Nearly three quarters of our guests this year were visiting friends and family in Lamorinda, or checking out Cal or St. Mary’s. Not a single party was held, nor a rule broken.

    It seems (correct me if I’m wrong) you’ve been a long-time resident. And, if you’re as well-to-do as you have made abundantly clear, it probably means you have a quite low property tax payment (thanks be to Proposition 13). We newcomers pay a hell of a lot of property tax – a disproportionate amount, I’d say, but we knew that before buying here. Yes, our kids are in the school system (the reason we are here) and we don’t spend a lot of time griping about the cost of living in Lamorinda. Instead, we work our tails off and find ways of offsetting the costs. Your argument that operating an AirBnB unit hurts the hotel industry doesn’t hold water, because in Lamorinda, AirBnB IS the ‘hotel’ industry. But, really, it’s not really a hotel industry at all. It’s a room or a suite or an outbuilding, or the whole house, rented (typically) to a single party.

    Personally, I welcome the ordinance that just passed, and supported it. The Occupancy Tax is paid by those booking, not us hosts, and hopefully it will be appropriated in a way that benefits the community.

    From my perspective, AirBnB is quite well regulated. You’d know this if you used the platform. Please don’t associate all of us AirBnB hosts as greedy, or lacking common sense, just because one user decided to go off-platform and rent his entire home to a group of partiers. That’s not even close to the typical experience, tragic though it may be.

    And for those who believe that those of us who need — or want, for that matter — to augment our income don’t belong here: Guess what. We’re here. There’s lots of us, in fact. We are not going anywhere. Our ability to move with the economy, however it swings, will serve us well. Just because you don’t understand how it all works, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

    PS: Chris – thanks for your commentary. We ought to have coffee some day! Danielle – care to join us?

  8. GF, I’m a very fair person. I’ll give credit where credit is due. Even though I’m against Airbnb, if all Airbnb hosts were as responsible as you, it would make Airbnb “better.” But reality is – they aren’t! Airbnb horror stories are everywhere. In the news (locally), online, and I’ve heard them personally. A friend of mine’s daughter had to move out of Anaheim (her daughters neighbors were renting Airbnb style – think Disneyland) to the point where things got so out of control, her daughter and son-in-law had to sell their home at a loss. They were in their 20s, and couldn’t afford “loss of equity.” Misdemeanors and felonies were happening. They were forced out of their neighborhood.

    Airbnb in Lamorinda is worse than you think too. Not the $875 a night in Orinda. That made the news. Here’s one that didn’t. A friend of mine (who lives outside of Lamorinda – her daughter is a resident of Lamorinda) rents out their home, but only when her and her husband travel. They claim to be “selective” as to who they rent to, but I doubt it. The guests leave her “Maple dining room chairs in the rain”- they’ve had guests commit fraud (reporting to Airbnb that there were bugs in the beds – for a refund. I’ve been in their home, and her home is immaculate). Also, grand theft has happened. None of this is reported to law enforcement because, according to her mother “everything is more embarrassing at a higher income level.” What the heck?

    As far as your invitation to stay in your Airbnb unit, it’s a nice business gesture, but we’ll politely decline. We have a lot of family and friends in Lamorinda, so we have places to stay for free. Our “go to” home would be my elderly parents in the Sanders Ranch area of Moraga. I have my room picked out.

    As far as property taxes, we pay ENORMOUS property taxes on our home in Orinda and La Jolla We’re not old enough to cash in on Prop 13 advantages. That would be my elderly parents and in-laws, etc.

    As far as our financial status, that’s our business. Not everyone engages in “envy up and frown down.” It’s petty. I can honestly say we know everything from one percenters to people in need (including the homeless) and everything in between. Money is superficial. My husband and I are Christians. Does anyone’s financial status really matter?

    As for the coffee invitation – I don’t drink coffee. I’m a gym rat, health lady, and I don’t do caffeine. I don’t need it, but I appreciate your graciousness.

    Lastly, you need to keep in mind you have an in-law unit in your home. Most people don’t. Most Airbnb hosts are letting people into their homes, not their backyard. There’s a big difference. You can rule certain people out, but in today’s society, you can’t rule ANYBODY in. The most presentable person (on paper, over the phone, in person, etc.) could easily have an alcohol or a drug problem. Mental health issues. A sex offender. Trust is like respect. It has to be earned.

    GF, I think you’re “too trusting” – but I wish you well…

  9. I have personally dealt with 7 airbnb hosts, 5 in Europe and 2 in the US. One 2 day stay was a “met expectations” kind of stay, just business. For the other 6, I would describe the hosts as gracious, not just friendly and helpful, but helpful beyond expectations. They seek renters with a record of good reviews, and they want each renter to give them a positive review upon leaving. But mostly (in my experience) these are people like GF with families who are looking to supplement their income and give you a more personal welcome than the hotel front desk . I have never had a negative experience booking or staying with airbnb. Their marketplace is self-regulating based upon a system of mandatory reviews and the good judgment of renter and host to individually enter into a binding agreement. I also support the “hotel tax” imposed by Orinda because it provides for additional city services and helps level the playing field for any hotels which might be in the area. I am guessing there are zero hotels in Orinda and Moraga at present.

  10. We just used AirBnB last month for the first time for a trip to Cambridge and enjoyed it very much. We stayed in the flat of a family that was away on vacation. Much better for kids than a hotel and for our purposes, walkable and convenient. I understand Cambridge requires AirBnB hosts to live in, or adjacent to, the unit they offer, register with the city, and undergo regular inspection.

    So that makes me and my kids cheap, foolish, and greedy? I wonder about someone who feels the need to be the first to post (and anonymously) on every thread, and now to insult? So, JD, you enjoy the invective?

  11. @Danielle, thanks for your response. You say this has nothing to do with money in a previous comment, but everything seems to circle back to the issue of money. Case-in-point: “everything is more embarrassing at a higher income level.” Why even cite this? It comes down to embarrassment for having to earn extra despite putting on a facade of a certain level of status in the community.

    By citing the thoughts of others here, which have very much been about ‘envy up and frown down’, you come across as supporting the basic viewpoint, which I do agree, is petty. As for bringing up your faith, I don’t understand how that is of relevance here, aside from attempting to justify your position and words because you follow a particular worldview. In the context of this discussion, do only non-Christians use AirBnB? I’m confused, but moving on.

    And, of course there are bad stories – this is true of all things. We had someone accidentally break a vase I made in a glass-blowing class in college. In its place was a 100 dollar bill and a note. I glued it back together and sent back their C-note. People leave us a 350.00 security deposit, as well, and I’ve never had to use it. My point is this: What you don’t hear about are the GOOD stories; tens of thousands every single day, world-wide, maybe more. It’s not human nature to pay compliments, I suppose, but this method of doing business relies on it. These good stories are generally found in the mutual review system on the AirBnB (or other) platform. Click on any listing, and you’ll find them. I also think I represent the ‘norm’ here in Lamorinda, in terms of AirBnB host, as @david has experienced.

    In closing, in Orinda, STRs have been regulated; that’s a win-win. You’ll need a whole lot of evidence to pursue an all-out ban; evidence I don’t believe exists now or will ever exist in our community. I would suggest just relaxing on the whole topic for a bit, and see how the regulations change things. As a host, I’m happy about the regulations, and will gladly comply while continuing to share our home with trusting strangers (trust works both ways.)

    Enjoy the day…

  12. GF… Okay, so for the most part, Airbnb isn’t a problem in nice areas like Lamorinda. How about people living in apartments and condos that don’t have the luxury of living “in a nice home – spaciously apart?” They have to put up with unruly guests in close quarters, and it’s unfair. I don’t just think of myself. You notify your neighbors. Not everyone does that.

    As far as my friends daughter – her and her husband are very wealthy, and they admit to “not needing the money.” They rent out while vacationing to “vacation for free.” They charge a very high amount of money to stay in their “very nice home.” Her mom (my friend) could really use the money. She lives a humble lifestyle in a very small house. She’s disgusted that her daughter wouldn’t at least report the crimes to local PD. But she’s a grown woman, and she continues to use Airbnb. It’s her prerogative.

    I’ll “try to relax” over the topic. I hope regulations do change things, but I have my doubts.

    Enjoy the day too…

  13. Why are property taxes ENORMOUS in Orinda and La Jolla? I wonder what they base those taxes on. Mine aren’t so bad.

  14. @Danielle – thanks again for the response, and the backstory – it all makes a bit more sense now. We lived very near a problematic AirBnB rental in San Francisco. It was just below us, as we were on a hill. The neighborhood got together and resolved the problem with that one particular unit. It was later sold, and the new owners did the same thing, only it got worse! We moved to Orinda a short time later, which was completely unrelated. Here, we had the option to utilize our investment in a cashflow-positive way. I vowed to ‘not be that guy’, which is in part why we’re so careful, but most of it comes by nature; of wanting to be a contributing member of our community. Part of my personal vision of ‘contributing’ is opening our home to others. The motivations are really quite pure; at least I feel that to be true, whether if seems that way from your perspective. We meet wonderful people from all over the world, who get to experience our wonderful community and region, and our kids’ care expenses are all but covered at the end of the year, freeing us up to travel more and reciprocate the benefits.

    While the regulations may not change the fact that STRs exist in our community, I personally, and know several other AirBnB hosts who feel the same way, vow to keep things above-board, courteous, quiet and safe. The whole thing differs greatly from community to community, and neighborhood to neighborhood, but taking a binary position only fans the fire. It’d be great to find some middle ground in all this, because it exists.

    I can now better appreciate how the stories you’ve heard from acquaintances might color your viewpoint of the whole shebang, just as our positive experiences as host and traveler have colored mine. Seems to me like we can agree on the fact it’s not all bad, nor is it all good… But we can at least try to understand one another’s perspectives better. Thanks again for clarifying yours.

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