Fresno tightens grip on taxes from AirBnBs

Short-term rental operators have typically paid their own hotel taxes. Many Fresno properties have managed to skirt paying their share.

Fresno is cracking down on Airbnb landlords skirting their tax payments. 

Thursday, the Fresno City Council passed an ordinance that will make it easier for the city to collect the Transient Occupancy Tax. 


The backstory: Before this bill, each individual landowner who puts property up for rent on Airbnb would self report the Transient Occupancy Tax. 

  • At the start of this year, the city had 201 rental accounts reported.
  • Fresno has collected $196,360 in Transient Occupancy Tax revenue since the beginning of 2020. 

The big picture: The new ordinance passed by the council addresses the definition of an “operator” in the city’s municipal code that now allows Airbnb to collect the tax directly from the landowners and send it to the city. 

What we’re watching: While the city expects its Transient Occupancy Tax collections to increase through Airbnb, the ordinance also changes the tax collecting structure with other similar businesses, such as VRBO. 

What they’re saying: City Controller and Finance Director Santino Danisi spoke to the nearly $200,000 collected in taxes since the start of 2020. 

  • “We believe it’s woefully not representative of the activity out there, which is one of the reasons for this change,” Danisi said. 
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