CHARLESTON - Airbnb, a community-driven hospitality company, started collecting West Virginia's 6% sales tax Thursday on behalf of its affiliated hosts in the state, the company said in a news release.
Airbnb said in the release that it has partnered with more than 400 local governments throughout the U.S. to collect and remit taxes, making the process seamless and easy for hosts to pay their fair share while contributing new revenue for local governments.
West Virginia passed HB2813 earlier this year, and it was signed into law by Gov. Jim Justice. It authorizes platforms like Airbnb to collect the state's sales tax. Airbnb will deliver the revenue to the West Virginia State Tax Department.
"We are eager to get the word out about this tax collection so that hosts who are already collecting the sales and use tax know that this responsibility will now be handled by Airbnb on their behalf," Tom Martinelli, Airbnb's regional policy director, said in the release. "West Virginia is leading the way on embracing the economic benefits of the sharing economy. The home sharing protection law Governor Justice earlier signed into law will support increased tourism to the state, and our ability to collect state taxes will bring new revenue."
This tax revenue component comes on the heels of Justice earlier this year signing a bill into law that protects the rights of West Virginia homeowners to share their homes as vacation rentals or short-term rentals. Senate Bill 4, which made the Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program permanent, states that cities participating in the program cannot pass laws that "prohibit or limit the rental of a property" or "regulate the duration, frequency, or location of such rental."
Airbnb also announced that its West Virginia host community earned a combined $10 million in supplemental income in 2018 while welcoming 90,000 guest arrivals to the state.