Tax deal between Airbnb, Portland may be reached

A room in Portland posted on the site airbnb.com March 14 2014. (Airbnb)
A room in Portland posted on the site airbnb.com March 14 2014. (Airbnb)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A possible tax deal may be met between the city of Portland and Airbnb after negotiations on Wednesday.

The company, which helps travelers rent rooms from homeowners, plans to open an office in Old Town soon.

Under the new proposal discussed on Wednesday, Airbnb would collect an 11.5 percent tax, which includes Portland’s 6 percent transient lodging tax and Multnomah County’s 5.5 percent tax, based on what guests pay to hosts. That money then would be sent to the city quarterly.

Airbnb’s CEO Brian Chesky also announced the company’s new Shared City initiative, which is an effort to work with cities to enrich neighborhoods around the world. Chesky said Airbnb’s initial partnership will be with the city of Portland.

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales said Airbnb is exactly the kind of company the city needs.

“Sometimes people come here for jobs and sometimes jobs come here for the people. Either way, there’s more to working and living in Portland than a paycheck. There’s a sense of contributing, of belonging, and Airbnb gets that, which is exactly why it’s the kind of company we want here in Portland,” said Hales.

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