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Chico City Council to Discuss Collecting Taxes from Airbnb

Vacation rentals in Chico such as Airbnb and Craigslist have risen in popularity in recent years, but now, these vacation rental homes might be seeing an increase in price.

Posted: Apr. 3, 2018 6:19 PM
Updated: Apr. 4, 2018 9:20 AM

Chico, Calif. -- Vacation rentals in Chico such as Airbnb and Craigslist have risen in popularity in recent years, but now, these vacation rental homes might be seeing an increase in price.

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The City Council is meeting Tuesday night to discuss applying the transient occupancy tax, a 10 percent tax on a hotel stay, to the short-term rental locations.


As of now, the transient occupancy tax is not collected from short-term rental spots like Airbnb and Craigslist.

Ultimately, if this tax collection is approved, the city estimates this can bring in an additional $50,000 to $150,000 annually.


"The home now is a source of revenue, but that tax is not being paid. So to keep that fair for those hotels as well as those people that have their houses they're renting out, we're going to assess that same tax to both," said Scott Dowell, Administrative Services Director of The City of Chico.

"I think Airbnb is a good idea, I don't think it's fair where they get a small advantage over small businesses like ours," said Bob James, co-owner of the Lost Dutchman Businesses. 

Bob James is the co-owner of Hotel James, a business that's been around in Chico for less than 10 years.

Hotel James has five rooms that can go anywhere between $120 for a regular room and double for a suite.

"I don't think it would be fair to tax people who use Airbnb," said Kari Sorrenti, a Chico Airbnb host. 

Kari Sorrenti's two-bedroom location goes for $79 a night.

Sorrenti didn't know about the city council meeting, but she plans on going now.

"I think I'm gonna ask where that tax money would go. Is it going to benefit me as a homeowner? Is it going to fix the potholes on the road, get a police force there with theft in my neighborhood? It's that kind of thing I have questions about," said Sorrenti.

The City Council meeting was held in the Council Chamber on Main Street in Chico. The council will discuss the ordinance, but not take action until a future meeting.

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