San Diego has started dropping bombs on Airbnb hosts.
In recent months, the city’s sent out more than 240 letters demanding that folks renting out their rooms or homes pay hotel taxes.
Since then, 175 of more than 3,100 local hosts have signed up to pay taxes, and at least a quarter of them have been told they’ll owe more than just future bills. At least 40 hosts have started to pay back taxes – which can include late charges of up to 25 percent – for stays that occurred weeks, months or even years ago, according to the city treasurer’s office.
The demand letters, coupled with the case of a 70-year-old Burlingame woman who’s been ordered to immediately stop renting out two rooms in her single-family home or face $2,500 in daily fines, have fueled an atmosphere of dread for local hosts who use the Airbnb website, which allows hosts to rent their homes or individual rooms on a short-term basis.