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Council 'misses mark' on Airbnb

Auckland Council’s new ‘Airbnb rate’ falls dismally short of the mark and fails to reduce unfairness for traditional accommodation providers, says Tourism Industry Aotearoa.

 

The council intends to charge extra rates on Airbnb and other online accommodation providers who provide more than 28 nights’ accommodation a year. The move was intended to address the unfairness of the targeted accommodation rate introduced last year, which is only paid by some properties providing commercial accommodation hotels and motels.

 

TIA chief executive Chris Roberts says in its 2017 submission opposing the targeted rate, TIA pointed out how hard it would be to extend it to peer-to-peer accommodation providers – and that has proven to be the case. ‘Only 1100 properties are to pay the new rate. But according to Auckland Council’s report ‘Airbnb & Housing in Auckland’ 12,357 properties are available on Airbnb in the city. ‘The council is expecting payment from just 9% of Auckland’s Airbnb providers.’

 

TIA questions the rationale behind excluding ‘room-only’ bookings. ‘Exempting the room-only providers excludes a significant proportion of the market, as it can be reasonably assumed that some of these room-only providers are generating significant annual income,’ says Roberts. Roberts says the biggest concern is the council’s inability to implement its own rating policy. ‘TIA agrees with the council that it is an ‘unfortunate’ shortcoming of the new rating policy that the council cannot find everyone who should be paying it.’

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