COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - During the 2019 Aggie football season, local Airbnb hosts raked in $850,000, according to Airbnb.
Airbnb was created in 2012 and since then has been growing exponentially in the local community.
Bryant Robinson and his girlfriend Kay Noble decided in September that they were going to be Airbnb hosts. The house is in a great location across from Kyle Field, hence the name "Stadium Views."
"We opened in the heart of football season, so we had bookings off the bat," said Robinson. "Then we had some bookings all the way into November and then December and recently got some bookings for next football season too."
Robinson and Noble work full-time in College Station, and they knew it would be a perfect location to host.
"There are so many things going on here," said Robinson. "So many people come here, visiting family and going to different events."
In the last three months, the couple has made $6,500 and is planning on opening up their next short-term rental.
With the growing phenomenon, College Station's Assistant to the City Manager Brian Piscacek said it has been challenging to track down all of the local Airbnb hosts, like Robinson, to collect the city Hotel Occupancy Tax.
It's not that they're trying to do wrong by the city, most of them simply don't know about the tax. They're already paying the state Hotel Occupancy Tax through Airbnb, and Pisacek is making plans to enforce the city Hotel Occupancy Tax.
"Short term rental hosts have a responsibility, just as hoteliers do to collect and remit hotel occupancy tax," said Pisacek.
Now that Robinson knows about the tax, he said he wants to be both a good host for his guests and for the city.
"That's pretty much one of our main goals is to give people the best home away from home," said Robinson.
The city of College Station currently does enforce the Hotel Occupancy Tax, but Pisacek said the only way to know about these hosts is through complaints.
To fix this issue, Pisacek has been meeting with local hotel owners, Airbnb hosts, and other cities that have a short-term renting ordinance in place. They will have a report ready in January to present to City Council.
Legally speaking, not paying the city's hotel occupancy tax is a misdemeanor. Airbnb hosts found delinquents can expect a fine and a 15% penalty on the taxes they owe.
If you are an Airbnb host and you are looking to file online or learn more about the city Hotel Occupancy tax, go to the related links section.