Baltimore “Airbnb” Hotel Tax Bill Dies In Committee

A bill that would apply Baltimore City’s 9.5 percent hotel tax to Airbnb rentals died in the Baltimore City Council Judiciary and Legislative Investigations Committee yesterday after a group of local hosts campaigned against application of the tax to their rentals, reports ABC2 News.

The Administration led the charge on City Council Bill 16-0737: Hotel Tax – Short Term Rentals and Hosting Intermediaries, which would have applied the hotel tax to any short-term rental serving one or more transient guests. Under current law, the tax only applies to sleeping accommodations serving more than five guests. The bill also clarified that the tax applied to fees paid to “hosting intermediaries” such as Airbnb and VRBO.

Committee Chair Jim Kraft announced yesterday at the time of the bill’s scheduled hearing that the bill would go no further with the City Council this term, which ends at noon on Thursday, December 8. A group of Airbnb hosts hugged and blew kisses in response.