Photo courtesy AirBnb.com
Photo courtesy AirBnb.com

Operations by online vacation rental broker Airbnb last year generated $7 million in tax revenue for the city of San Diego, the company announced Tuesday.

According to an Airbnb report, the company remitted $175 million in hotel, tourist and occupancy taxes to more than 220 cities and communities around the world, compared to  $42.6 million in taxes sent to 20 cities the previous year.

“By partnering with Airbnb to create clear tax rules for home sharing, the 50 largest cities in the United States could have collected a total of $250 million in hotel, tourist and occupancy taxes from Airbnb in 2016 — up from $200 million estimated for 2015 due to the growth of our community in these cities,” the report said.

According to the company, vacationers who stay in homes stay longer and spend more money in the cities they visit.

Tax revenue totals for other Airbnb partner cities included $19 million for San Francisco, $4 million for Portland, Oregon, and $3 million for Chicago. According to the report, Los Angeles collected $13 million in tax revenue even though collections didn’t start until Aug. 1.

Vacation rentals have been a controversial issue in San Diego, with neighbors complaining about overcrowding and noise from a growing number of properties set aside for visitors — especially in beach neighborhoods.

The City Council last year rejected a proposal to ban vacation rental properties in residential neighborhoods. The council instead directed city staff to develop a comprehensive set of regulations designed to allow such operations to continue while mitigating their impacts.

—City News Service