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Airbnb to start collecting tax in Montgomery County

Airbnb, the online booking site, said Wednesday it has reached an agreement with Montgomery County to start collecting hotel tax on behalf of its hosts, the first such agreement in Maryland.

The San Francisco firm has similar agreements in more than 160 jurisdictions around the world. It is in talks with Baltimore leaders on the same topic.

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Airbnb plans to start collecting the hotel tax, remitting the payments to the county, for reservations made on or after June 1, the firm wrote in an email to hosts. The agreement to remit the taxes was signed last week, said Scott Foncannon, an attorney in the Montgomery County's executive office.

Montgomery County last year changed its law to make Airbnb rentals subject to a 7 percent tax and is working on legislation that would legalize the service, since short-term rentals are technically illegal.

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About 14,200 guests used Airbnb to stay in Montgomery County in 2015, according to the company. About 660 hosts there had at least one booking that year, it said.

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