JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Jonesboro Advertising and Promotions Commission hopes to even the playing field when it comes to hotels and online rentals.
The A&P Commission met Tuesday and discussed collecting an occupancy tax from online rentals like Airbnb.
Jerry Morgan, chairman of the Jonesboro A&P Commission, said this tax would be no different than what hotels get taxed.
"Right now we just collect the 3 cents off the hotel revenue tax," Morgan said. "There are a lot of additional places coming online such as Airbnb that are also doing nightly rates and weekly rates. So what we are looking at doing is proposing an ordinance to the city where those items such as Airbnb would also be taxed the same as the hotels."
Morgan said other cities do this with Airbnb, and they are modeling their ordinance after one already in effect in Eureka Springs.
"Basically to make it a level playing field for our existing hotels and also to bring in the revenue for the A&P Commission and then turn around and give out to our local charities and organizations to promote more people to come to Jonesboro," Morgan said.
In the meeting, it was stated last weekend there were 18 properties available on Airbnb in Jonesboro.
"Airbnb would collect it for us just like a sales tax and turn around and remit that back to the city straight to us," Morgan said.
The commission voted to move this motion to the finance committee.
After the finance committee, the motion will go to the city council where an ordinance would need to be created.
Also at the meeting, it was announced the Downtown BBQ Festival has a corporate sponsor.
Morgan told the commission this sponsor should help make the festival a 2-day event.
The A&P Commission plans to announce the sponsor and possible band options at the next meeting.