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Thursday, Oct 18, 2018
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Pinellas County strikes bed tax deal with VRBO, HomeAway and other AirBnb competitors

The Pinellas County Tax Collector’s Office will start collecting bed tax dollars from a slew of home rental apps that operate similarly to AirBnb starting Oct. 1.

Prior to the new partnerships with TripAdvisor and Expedia, only AirBnb had set up to pay Pinellas County directly on behalf its users. When the short-term rental apps don’t do that, it’s up to the individual whose home is being rented to remit the tax themselves.

Previous coverage: As Airbnb’s competitors grow, Florida tax collectors work to strike more deals

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The bed tax is a 6 percent charge to visitors on their room stays. The bulk of the bed tax Pinellas County collects comes from hotels, but AirBnb remitted close to $1.9 million to the county last year.

"We have pursued agreements for years, and recently, these online companies realized how much of a benefit it is to the property owners if those owners do not have to handle the taxes themselves," tax collector Charles W. Thomas said in a statement.

The new agreement means Pinellas County users of TripAdvisor and Expedia’s subsidiaries — HomeAway.com, VRBO.com, FlipKey.com, VacationHomeRentals.com, VacationRentals.com, HouseTrip.com, HolidayLettings.co.uk, and Niumba.com — all will have taxes remitted for them.

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