As Airbnb continues to face criticism over its social and economic impact in cities where it operates, the company has been eager to demonstrate that it’s working hard to make sure users of its platform are paying their fair share of taxes.
In a blog post published today, the company announced that it had signed tax agreements with 275 governments, ranging from city to county to state levels.
“Home sharing democratizes revenue by providing an increasingly valuable source of new funds for governments,” the company wrote. “By collecting and remitting hotel and similar taxes, Airbnb ensures a streamlined process for our host community and lightens the administrative burden for state and local governments.”
The company says that by May 1 it will have collected “more than $240 million in hotel and tourist” taxes globally. The blog post comes a few weeks after a study funded by the hotel industry blasted secret tax agreements that local jurisdictions were signing with Airbnb.
With a $31 billion valuation, Airbnb has been seeking to strike a conciliatory pose by negotiating arrangements with governments over the issue of tax collection.
Still, in major destinations such as Barcelona and Paris, the company continues to face strong criticism from local officials who worry that the company is turning too many of their city’s properties into vacation homes while driving the cost of living out of reach for locals.