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Rent wrangle Swiss regions lean on Airbnb to collect tourist tax

airbnb

Hoteliers and politicians have been flat-footed by the rise of Airbnb in recent years.

(Keystone)

As the number of Airbnb offers in Switzerland continues to grow, cantons and parliamentarians continue to discuss ways to regulate the rental platform.

So far, Zug is the only canton which has reached an agreement with Airbnb; since July 2017 the website has been collecting a tourist tax on rentals on behalf of the cantonal tourist body.

However, other cantons are keen to follow, reports the Swiss News Agency.

Geneva Tourism aims to finalise an agreement by the end of 2018, said spokeswoman Lucie Gerber. This would include tax questions as well as a maximum number of days that a private apartment can be offered on the site each year.

+ Read about the huge growth of Airbnb in Switzerland in recent years

+ Should we be worried about the rise of Airbnb?

Up the road in canton Fribourg a similar agreement for tax collection is in the final stages, while in southern Ticino, officials have also met Airbnb representatives to discuss an arrangement that would take the onus for reporting away from private renting individuals.

Valais – the most popular Airbnb destination in the country, boasting a quarter of all Swiss offers – along with Bern and Zurich are also reported to be negotiating with Airbnb.

The Californian company, which has more than doubled its offers in Switzerland over the past two years, has said it is willing to work with the cantons in finding a solution with minimal bureaucracy.

However, changes in laws from canton to canton – even from municipality to municipality – may present a stumbling block to an efficient solution. Several initiatives are also being discussed at the national level, mainly around the issue of rental law.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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