Tax collection to begin for Airbnb; Lawrence looks to regulate short-term rentals

The City of Lawrence doesn’t profess to profit from illegal businesses, but soon it will start getting tax revenue from an industry that is outlawed by its own city code.

Thousands of guests rent rooms or entire houses in Lawrence each year via the online booking company Airbnb, and starting next month the company will begin automatically collecting and remitting state and local taxes for those transactions. Those rentals, though, are currently a violation of local ordinances.

City staff members are working on a report on the topic, expected to be completed in a few months, but some local leaders say they are frustrated that Lawrence hasn’t acted faster to address the issue.

(Read more: LJWorld.com / Lawrence, Kansas)