Airbnb has reached a milestone, and Cayuga County played a role in that achievement.
The company, which allows homeowners to advertise short-term rentals online, has reached agreements with 20 New York counties, including Cayuga County, to collect and remit occupancy taxes.
Airbnb also finalized an agreement with Fulton County to collect occupancy taxes. The Cayuga and Fulton arrangements, which begin May 1, allowed the company to reach its 20-county milestone.
The agreements were announced two days before Tax Day, which is April 17. Tax Day is the due date for federal income tax filings.
"This is only further proof of the exponential opportunity inherent to home sharing, not only for hosts and small businesses, but also for our communities overall," said Josh Meltzer, Airbnb's head of New York public policy. "It also serves as a clear example to the state of the economic potential on the table in supporting common sense home sharing regulations."
Airbnb said it has remitted more than $1.4 million in occupancy taxes to counties since July 2016, when it first agreed to collect the taxes in Tompkins County.
Cayuga County approved its tax agreement with Airbnb in January. The vast majority of the tax revenue — 95 percent — will support the county's tourism office. The remaining 5 percent will be provided to the county treasurer's office.
In 2017, Airbnb said it had 70 hosts welcome 3,000 guests. The typical host earned $7,800 from the rentals, according to the company.
Cayuga County Administrator J. Justin Woods said the agreement with Airbnb will help level the playing field within the local lodging industry. While hotels and other facilities in Cayuga County collected room taxes, Airbnb hasn't collected or remitted these taxes to the county.
Meg Vanek, executive director of the Cayuga County Office of Tourism, said the agreement with Airbnb will benefit her agency.
"Airbnb is a popular piece of the growing sharing economy that visitors expect to see, so we are very pleased that Airbnb is acting as a responsible partner with Cayuga County, helping our dynamic tourism program continue to evolve," Vanek said.