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French cities to scoop €13.5 million from Airbnb 'tourist tax'

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French cities to scoop €13.5 million from Airbnb 'tourist tax'
13:56 CET+01:00
Airbnb plans to pay €13.5 million in tourist taxes to cities across France, with the capital Paris getting the lion’s share at nearly €7 million, the home-sharing app said.

Airbnb began automatically collecting tourist tax, or taxe de séjour in French, when guests made a booking in 2015 in Paris and the Alpine resort of Chamonix, and then extended the measure to 19 French towns and cities in 2016, and to a total of 50 last year.

Airbnb said in a statement that it planned to hand over the €13.5 million it collected last year to local authorities by the end of the week.

It said it plans to extend the measure to 1,500 localities across the country in 2018.

Its figures said that Paris would this week be given €6.9 million, Nice €860,000 , and Marseille a total of €790,000.

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The wildly successful home-sharing app has come under pressure across the world, with critics saying its short-term renters represent unfair competition for hotels, encourage property speculation and reduce the housing available to locals.

Paris is one of Airbnb's top markets, with around 65,000 sites listed. The city’s authorities have in recent years toughened rules under which the US-based firm is allowed to operate in the French capital.

Last month it rolled out a new rule forcing people renting out their properties on Airbnb or other online rental platforms to first register it with the City Hall.

The city also last year greatly increased the number of fines it slaps on owners renting their Paris apartments out on Airbnb for more than the city limit of 120 days per year.

In the first half of 2017, 31 owners of 128 units were slapped with a total of €615,000 for breaching the rules.

 
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