On Monday, Houston First, the city’s convention and tourism bureau, announced that they reached an agreement with Airbnb to begin collecting Hotel Occupancy Taxes from customers using the service beginning on July 1.
“The 7 percent tax on Airbnb rentals will flow to Houston First, a government corporation that promotes and markets Houston’s travel, tourism and arts communities around the world and operates the city’s finest convention, arts and entertainment venues,” read the press release.
HOT are used to promote the city, they recently came under a spotlight for being used to pay for bands to play in Houston’s airports and the hiring of a Poet Laureate.
Out of all Texas cities, Houston has the highest percentage of hotel occupancy taxes dedicated to the arts. Taxes collected from Airbnb are expected to reach $3 million in the first year.
“Airbnb’s agreement to collect a tax that had already been levied on hotel and motel guests will boost Houston First’s efforts to further increase the number of visits to Houston, which drew a record-high 22.3 million people in 2018,” Mayor Turner said in a statement.