- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 5, 2017

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota bed and breakfast owners who say they follow tax and permitting rules that some Airbnb hosts skirt around are angered by the company’s growth in rural Minnesota.

Airbnb officials told Minnesota Public Radio (https://bit.ly/2uJC5sB ) that the company’s rentals in the state’s rural areas have grown at twice the rate they have in the Twin Cities metro.

There are 600 hosts in rural Minnesota, the company said. They hosted 19,000 guests and earned $2.2 million from June 2016 to May 2017.

Tami Schluter runs the Hutchinson House in Faribault. Airbnb and other home-sharing services aren’t subject to the same regulations, standards and scrutiny that her bed and breakfast faces, she said. Her business must be licensed by the state, permitted by the city and is inspected by the health department annually.

Home-sharing properties should be licensed and regulated by the city or state they’re in, she said.

Schluter is the executive director of the Minnesota Bed and Breakfast Association. Her concerns about regulations, costs and competitiveness are shared by about 120 licensed bed and breakfast owners in the state, she said.

She also said home-sharing properties should collect and remit local and state sales taxes like licensed bed and breakfast businesses must.

Airbnb said it urges hosts to follow local regulations and remit taxes. The company automatically collects taxes for about 300 state and local governments and is working to resolve tax and regulatory issues in other cities, including St. Paul and Minneapolis.

“We’re very happy to work with cities on regulations that are fair, easy to understand,” said Laura Spanjian, the company’s public policy director. “If it’s a registration system, make the registration as easy as possible, make the fees low so that people do it. And then once the law passes we really try to work with our hosts to comply with the law.”

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Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, https://www.mprnews.org

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