Tourists who stay in an Airbnb property in Groningen may have to pay tourist tax in the future. Alderperson Roeland van der Schaaf of the labour party wants to look into the possibility of charging tourist tax on the properties.
The majority of the municipal council is in favour of the motion. Dagblad van het Noorden says that council members think it is unfair that properties rented out overnight through Airbnb do not have to pay the tax, but hotels and other rental accomodations do.
The municipality says that Airbnb is difficult to monitor because the number of available rooms changes from day to do. Around 300 homes, apartments and rooms in Groningen are listed on the Airbnb site. The local government wants to see if it is possible to charge tourism tax directly through the booking site itself.
Jimmy Dijk, the leader of the local socialist party faction, would prefer that Airbnb be banned altogether in the city. Dijk cites the situation in Amsterdam, where the number of tourists has grown explosively in tandem with the popularity of Airbnb and locals report feeling like they are the ones visiting their own city. “We don’t want Groningen to go down that path.”