Pinellas County Tax Collector Announces TripAdvisor, Expedia to Begin Paying Tourist Taxes

PINELLAS COUNTY, FL – The Pinellas County Tax Collector’s Office is announcing new partnerships in an effort to collect more tax dollars earmarked to promote tourism. Beginning October 1, the Pinellas County Tax Collector’s Office will collect tourist development taxes from TripAdvisor and Expedia, along with their subsidiaries HomeAway.com, VRBO.com, FlipKey.com, VacationHomeRentals.com, VacationRentals.com, HouseTrip.com, HolidayLettings.co.uk, and Niumba.com.

“By working with online travel companies, we are doing our part to help our vital tourism industry weather this difficult challenge,” said Pinellas County Tax Collector Charles W. Thomas.

These tourist development tax collections will begin thanks to new agreements with the online travel companies. In 2015, the Pinellas County Tax Collector’s Office became the first in the state to pen a tourist development tax collection agreement with Airbnb.

“We have pursued agreements for years, and recently, these online companies realized how much of a benefit it is to the property owners if those owners do not have to handle the taxes themselves. We are grateful for our new partners and look forward to working with them,” said Thomas.

Without these new collection agreements, property owners would be required to collect and remit the taxes on their own.

The tourist development tax, also known as the bed tax, is a six percent tax on accommodations such as hotels and private homes rented for six months or less. In Pinellas County, the Board of County Commissioners determines where these tax dollars go. One of the primary recipients is the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, which promotes and advertises tourism for Pinellas County.

Despite concerns about red tide, the Pinellas County Tax Collector’s Office is still on track for record-setting tourist development tax collections during the 2018 fiscal year, which ends September 30. As of July 31, it collected $52.45 million, a 9.25 percent increase over 2017.

For more information about tourist development taxes, including detailed reports, click here.

# # #

ABOUT THE PINELLAS COUNTY TAX COLLECTOR’S OFFICE: The Pinellas County Tax Collector’s Office is a constitutionally elected office. Responsibilities include collecting and distributing state and local taxes and providing driver license and motor vehicle registration services to Pinellas County residents. For more information, visit taxcollect.com.