Airbnb could collect local occupancy taxes for Conroe

Conroe plans to join 12 other Texas cities and reach an agreement with Airbnb to formalize collection of local hotel occupancy taxes.

Council members voted unanimously Aug. 22 to pursue the agreement. Council Member Duane Ham was absent.

Other cities, including Plano and Houston, have worked out a tax partnership with the online rental platform. Houston is expected to collect an additional $13 million from the resource annually, and Plano reported collecting $23,000 in the first month.

At the Aug. 21 workshop, Shannon Overby, manager of Conroe's convention and visitors bureau, said depending on the time of year, there are about 300 short-term rentals available in Conroe—mostly around the lake.

"We're just asking for it to create a level playing field: we know visitors are coming, [and[ we know they're staying in Airbnb and short-term rentals," Overby said. "We feel they need to pay the HOT taxes just like visitors who stay in hotels."

Overby said the change would only affect corporate Airbnb, not individual local operators, and the tourism dollars collected would go toward helping visitors know where in town to eat, shop and spend money.

Airbnb previously struck a deal in 2017 with the state of Texas to collect hotel taxes, resulting in more than $15 million in tax revenue in the first year.
By Jules Rogers
Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Jules Rogers has been covering community journalism and urban trade news since 2014. She moved to Houston in June 2018 to become an editor with Community Impact Newspaper after four years of reporting for various newspapers affiliated with the Portland Tribune in Oregon, including two years at the Portland Business Tribune. Before that, Jules spent time reporting for the Grants Pass Daily Courier in Southern Oregon. Her favorite beats to cover are business, economic development and urban planning.


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