As Airbnb generates millions to Nashville’s economy, Metro Council approves local regulations

Visitors utilizing Airbnb lodging generated more than $300 million in total spending to Nashville’s small   businesses. That total represents a 59 percent increase from 2016. On average, the 590,000 Airbnb guests spent approximately $185 per day per guest; this amount does not include what they paid for the Airbnb listing, split between food, leisure, shopping and transportation.

Nashville remains home to one of the nation’s strongest performing hotel markets, achieving continually record revenue numbers. Last year, more than 950 new hotel rooms were added to the Nashville landscape. An additional 114 projects are under contract, according to the 2017 Nashville Pipeline Report.

Airbnb wants to meet some of the area’s lodging demands through its short-term rental platforms and, “has allowed more people to responsibly and authentically experience Nashville and infuse additional revenue for the local merchant community.”

Airbnb hosts in Nashville have been welcoming guests into their homes for the past nine years. Business officials stated that as of May 2017, they had entered into agreements with more than 275 jurisdictions and collected and remitted more than $240 in hotel and tourists taxes worldwide.

In Tennessee, guests who book Airbnb listings in Memphis will pay the city’s short-term room occupancy tax and its Tourism Improvement District Assessment. To date, no agreement has been reached with Metro officials, according to Airbnb reports.

Currently, the Metro Council is hoping to give final approval this week to Ordinance No. BL2017-608 that will regulate short-term rental property (STRP).  The ordinance was first introduced early last year, was referred to different committees, underwent several changes and passed first and second readings before being deferred to the January 16 meeting.

STRP is defined as a residential dwelling unit, containing not more than four sleeping rooms that are used and / or advertised for transient occupancy.

Owners of STRP will be required to obtain an operating permit from Metro Codes Administration; collect and remit Hotel Occupancy Taxes; collect and remit Sales Tax; and could be required to obtain a Business Tax License.

Additionally, when owners apply for an application they must have proof of insurance and give written notification to adjacent property owners prior to filing the application. Other guidelines include: abiding by all applicable noise restrictions and regulations, and providing ample parking. They agree not to prepare or serve food to the guests.