Warren County subpoenas Airbnb and others for occupancy tax information

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WARREN COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Warren County took new steps this week in their ongoing plan to manage occupancy tax for short-term rental properties like those posted to Airbnb.

The county has issued an administrative subpoena on the companies that advertise and host short-term rental postings. They’ve requested lists of property owners renting through those sites, as well as addresses, locations and amounts collected in rent and occupancy tax.

Driving the subpoena is the county’s effort to collect that tax themselves.

“All parties have been cooperative and the County looks forward to establishing a fruitful relationship with short-term rental companies and their hosts,” said Don Lehman, Warren County’s director of communications.

Lehman said there are several companies being worked with in order to gather all of the information the county needs.

Warren County added short-term rentals to the list of properties that need to collect occupancy tax back in 2018. The 4 percent tax goes back to bolstering communities whose livelihoods are affected by the tourism those properties generate.

At that time, Warren County reached out to Airbnb and other providers, asking for them to collect that tax and wire it back to them. It wouldn’t be unheard of; just last month, neighboring Washington County was offered that exact deal by Airbnb. But Warren County was given no answer, according to county treasurer Michael Swan, who spoke to News 10 ABC for a story in September.

The subpoena asks providers for information on rentals starting in September 2018.

Property owners are being asked to pay the tax quarterly. Collection began on Sept. 1. The deadline for property owners to register doesn’t kick in until Dec. 31.

Those seeking more information on Warren County bed tax collection can call the Warren County Treasurer’s Office at (518) 761-6379, or email at swanm@warrencountyny.gov.

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