Bloodsuckers: Seattle council approves tax on Airbnb rentals

self licking ice cream cone
As I’ve told you – here, here and here – there’s never enough money that Seattle demorats can’t get their hands on.
From Seattle Times: The Seattle City Council voted Monday to tax operators of short-term rentals, such as those listed on Airbnb. Beginning in 2019, the city will impose taxes of $14 per night for entire homes and $8 per night for rooms.
In addition to paying for the city to set up and administer the tax, the proceeds will be used to support community-initiated development projects and create affordable housing, according to the ordinance.
Self-licking ice cream cone n. a process, department, institution, or other thing that offers few benefits and exists primarily to justify or perpetuate its own existence.)
The council was scheduled to also vote Monday on regulations for the short-term rental industry. But Councilmember Rob Johnson persuaded four of his colleagues to join him in voting to refer that legislation back to his land-use committee for additional discussion.
As now proposed, the regulatory ordinance would require all short-term rental operators to obtain a license and would cap the number of short-term rentals operated by a single person or company at two.
People and companies operating short-term rentals before Sept. 30 of this year in an area including downtown, Uptown and South Lake Union would be exempt from the cap.
There may be debate at the committee level about where the boundaries of the exempted area should be and whether listing platforms such as Airbnb should pay fees.

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Seattle being Seattle, I don’t know it is applies there, but a few years back we went to Maui and rented a private condo and were charge some serious tax on it. Later we found out, they weren’t reporting the income, nor forwarding the tax money they collected. The state is trying to remedy that now.

True George

It was bound to happen sooner or later….


How long until they start taxing the AIR?

Steven Broiles

I don’t understand what’s wrong with the regular sales tax, although it is a regressive tax. Here in New York there is a massive and large hotel room tax. I don’t stay in hotels here in New York, so I don’t know what it is, but it adds $30 or more per night to the cost of a hotel room. At any rate, New York State—at the “behest” of the hotel industry here, cracked down on Air B&B and BANNED it throughout the State. The Daily News cited a case of one Brooklyn home owner allowing over 39 people who… Read more »


I suppose my initial thought is “what are they doing getting involved with private property?”. They run this just like it was a communist country. No one seems to question their authority to do these things.
The former mayor wanted to make single-family dwellings “illegal”. They want us all in an A-21 box. Many of us get this. The open question is why we put up with it.