LIVINGSTON COUNTY – The Livingston County Board of Supervisors approved an expansion of the County’s tax on hotels and motels to include private residences that periodically rent rooms, like homeowners who use the websites and apps like AirBnB to post rooms for rent for a short time.
County Attorney David Morris said that the law will be updated in two ways: first, by expanding the definition of what types of lodging are subject to the hotel-motel tax for the purpose of including residential houses that rent rooms out for up to two weeks; and second, expanding what types of rent are subject to the tax.
“Under the previous motel-hotel tax, if there were meals being provided, a portion was considered rent, a portion was considered meals and only the portion that was attributable rent was subject to the tax,” said Morris. “We’ve changed the definition to read, in essence, ‘whatever is collected, no matter how it’s allocated, is subject to the tax.'”
The newly defined tax terms include private residences that rent rooms for 14 days or less. After 14 days, the tax will not apply. Morris said that this means that the tax does not include residences that are rented to college students for months at a time.
The changes are more geared towards users of AirBnB and similar online services.
“We’ve been working with AirBnB to try and get them to start collecting tax for us on rentals,” said Morris.
The Board of Supervisors passed the law after a public hearing that lasted the duration of their meeting Wednesday afternoon. No members of the public made any comment during the public hearing.