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Accommodation Australia calls for fairness on any short stay levy

In response to submissions made by accommodation platforms Airbnb and Stayz to a NSW Government inquiry asking any new levy be applied to all accommodation providers including hotels

Accommodation Australia (AA) is calling on the NSW Government to exclude hotels from any proposed short-term rental levy aimed at easing the ongoing housing crisis.

The call comes in response to submissions made by accommodation platforms Airbnb and Stayz to a NSW Government inquiry asking any new levy be applied to all accommodation providers including hotels.

STRA denies it is “the cause or the solution to the current pressures on housing”.

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AA CEO Michael Johnson said the issue was one of fairness, with regulated accommodation providers like hotels providing thousands of jobs and playing no role in the current housing crisis.

“AA has made its position on the introduction of such a levy clear in its own submission into the government’s review of short-term rental accommodation (STRA).” Mr Johnson said.

Michael Johnson, CEO, Accommodation Australia

“Accommodation hotels do not contribute to the removal of housing stock from the long-term rental market and, therefore, should not be levied with a tax to address rising rental costs.”

Mr Johnson said hotels and regulated commercial accommodation providers already comply with a range of compliance costs such as increased land tax, payroll tax, Workcover levies and insurances, staff wages, food safety, fire safety and building compliance such as disability access and egress.

“By contrast, other types of short-term rental accommodation have very little regulatory costs and the number of properties taken out of the rental market just keeps rising – particularly in regional areas where it is a real problem for our potential hotel workers to find their own accommodation,” he said.

Last year the Victorian Government targeted short-stay accommodation with a levy but spared hotels and pubs.

From the beginning of January 2025, Victoria will enforced a widespread 7.5 percent levy on short-stay rental properties found on platforms like Airbnb and Stayz in an effort to counterbalance the impact the sector has had on the housing crisis. The funds generated will help fund social and affordable housing.

Accommodation Australia NSW General Manager Stacey McBride said the Victorian Government’s recent decision to exclude hotels from a similar levy set to come into effect from 2025, supported AA’s position.

“There is no evidence to suggest accommodation hotels place meaningful pressure on the broader housing market or the long-term rental price,” she said.

“To put it simply, to bring in a new levy upon hotels would be both unfounded and unfair. It would make NSW less attractive for major events and conferences organisers.

“Why give the other states and territories a competitive edge – for once, NSW should follow Victoria’s lead. ”

Reacting to AA’s stance, Eacham Curry, Senior Director, Government & Corporate Affairs, Stayz said that any levy should be applied to all short-term accommodation providers.

He stated: “Stayz has always advocated for the STRA sector to make a contribution that recognises the impact that it has on the provision of services by State and Local Governments.

“STRA is not the cause or the solution to the current pressures on housing. We would encourage government to avoid additional or increased day or night caps, limits on guest numbers, or day fees.

“None of these approaches would address current concerns around housing and could risk the value STRA brings to local communities and their economies.”

Article updated March 19, 2024.

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