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TN AG: Airbnb Homeowners Must Pay Taxes

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Michael Lotfihttp://brandfireconsulting.com
Michael Lotfi is a Persian-American political analyst and adviser living in Nashville, Tennessee. Lotfi is the founder and CEO of BrandFire Consulting LLC. The firm specializes in public and private technology centered brand development, lead generation, data aggregation, online fundraising, social media, advertising, content generation, public relations, constituency management systems, print and more. Lotfi is the former executive state director for the Tennessee Tenth Amendment Center, a think-tank focused on restraining federal overreach. Lotfi graduated with top honors from Belmont University, a private Christian university located in Nashville, Tennessee.

NASHVILLE, December 3, 2015– Property owners who rent their homes to weekend guests through apps such as Airbnb should expect to be forced to pay taxes in Tennessee after the Tennessee Hospitality and Tourism Association (TnHTA), the statewide lobbying group that represents the hospitality and tourism industry in Tennessee, sought legal recourse by seeking a State Attorney General’s opinion against homeowners making extra money off of their homes.

The lobbying group says they are very pleased with the Attorney General’s opinion because it helps to “level the playing field,” and that it was a win for not only their stakeholders but local governments as well that are missing out on tax dollars.

“We are excited that the AG has opined that short-term rentals are legally subject to both sales and lodging taxes. In some counties, the amount of tax lost is significant- since Davidson County began to enforce the collection of the tax it is estimated that over $1.2 million in just lodging taxes will be collected in 2016 on short-term rentals,” said Greg Adkins, TnHTA President & CEO.

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Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery opined that those renting out their private homes to weekend guests were not simply private homeowners but actually hotel owners and are therefore responsible for collecting and paying sales taxes.

As technology continues to develop, long standing government protected industries are losing profits to apps like Uber, Lyft, AirBnB, and so on. This isn’t the first blow AirBnB has been dealt in Tennessee. In Nashville, the Tennessee Beacon Center, a free-market think tank, has recently filed a lawsuit against the city for attempting to ban homeowners from using the service.

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