One of the recurring issues plaguing the Cumberland County Treasurer’s Office is ensuring that AirBnB properties and other “gig rentals” are paying their fair share of taxes to the county. The work of Treasurer Gross and the excellent members of the Treasurer’s Office have helped track down delinquent accounts, and the Board of Commissioners has discussed using a social media approach and possible liens on properties who do not adhere to the law. But I have always believed the carrot works better than the stick.
What if the County Treasurer’s Office and the tourism department of the Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation got out in front of this with a win-win-win? How?
Let’s provide workshops to those interested in sharing their property on AirBnB. This is a win for the property owners, as they get to operate a small side business and produce profit; it is a win for the community as beds can often be tight for busy events, especially in and around Carlisle; and this is a win for hotels who abide by this tax remittance and for taxpayers who might otherwise be expected to buck-up the difference.
It’s important to note: this is not a silver bullet. There are other options as well, which includes working with other County Treasurers to create a bloc to negotiate a streamlined tax collection approach with firms like AirBnB.
As your County Treasurer, I’ll seek to find common-sense solutions that take care of our common cents.