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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: July 31, 2015 10:48 AM
From: Senator Lawrence M. Farnese, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Hotel Occupancy Tax for the Online Marketplace
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that would amend the Tax Reform Code of 1971 to clarify that the statewide hotel occupancy tax applies to short-term rentals through Airbnb and similar online marketplaces.

Booking agents, such as Airbnb, provide short-term rental services like hotels, but do not pay the 6% state hotel tax on these rentals. This legislation will allow us to keep up with the ever-expanding digital marketplace, and make sure visitors and renters are protected.

Specifically, my legislation will amend the definition of “hotel” to clarify that units temporarily rented for occupancy are generally subject to the hotel occupancy tax, even if the dwelling is ordinarily used for household living.

This legislation also clarifies the duty to collect and remit the hotel occupancy tax. Currently, the burden is on the host to collect and remit taxes on their rentals, though many individuals are unaware of this duty. My legislation would require that the booking agent, not the host, is responsible for collecting and remitting the tax.

Hotel occupancy taxes are an important stream of revenue, and this legislation ensures that everyone is paying their fair share toward the public services and goods that attract visitors to Pennsylvania.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as SB1190