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Some Airbnb hosts in Racine upset about proposal to add a tax on stays

RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Some Airbnb hosts in Racine are upset about a proposal to add a tax on stays.

City leaders say they're doing it in part because Foxconn construction is about to begin.

It's a move that the city says will help boost tourism. While some hosts are okay with it, others don't think it's fair.

Airbnb allows people to rent rooms and houses. The company is working on an agreement with the City of Racine about having guests pay an 8% room tax. Airbnb says it currently has 30 hosts in Racine. Nearly 700 guests checked in last year and together, hosts earned about $120,000.

The Racine City Administrator says the agreement would level the playing field.

The tax an Airbnb traveler would pay would go right back into the tourism budget which he says would be much needed when construction on Foxconn starts.

"With Foxconn coming into the region, you're going to see a large influx of construction workers for the first several years. So we imagine that platforms like Airbnb, VRBO, and others will become much more used," said Racine City Administrator Jim Palenick.

The City Administrator hopes to have the agreement ready for City Council to review sometime next month.


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