San Miguel de Allende became the first destination in Mexico to systematically tighten the leash on Airbnb-related abuses and problems, according to Luis Alberto Villareal, mayor of the popular colonial city. Airbnb has entered the tourism arena previously dominated by the hotel industry without any type of official regulation or fiscal responsibilities, whereas hotels are expected to report earnings and pay taxes for every booked room.
Earlier today, El Heraldo de México published a radio interview with Mayor Villareal conducted by Mexican radio and tv personality, Adela Micha, in which he emphasized that the problems go beyond the fiscal arena. “Since September this year, we’ve had to close down over 15 properties registered with Airbnb,” he explained. “A lot of people focus on the disparity between Airbnb properties and hotels as far as taxes are concerned, but more importantly, it’s a safety and security issue.”
“There are properties known to be owned by the narco that are registered with Airbnb. Or it’s happened that a property is rented through the system and suddenly somebody shows up with a van and takes everything.” He also explained that it has to do with creating a safe social network in people’s neighborhoods. “It’s not fair that you’ve chosen to live in a neighborhood where you expect to run into the same neighbors on an ongoing basis, and suddenly there are different people staying next door every weekend, you don’t know who they are, or even worse, why they are playing loud music until late hours at night.”
This past September 10, The Mazatlán Post published that Mexico’s government will monitor Airbnb payment accounts, making it harder to conceal income from the tax collector. A similar note was published the following day by Life in Progreso, a Yucatan-based publication. Airbnb maintains a list of Mexican states in which taxes are expected to be collected and paid. Our state is not among them yet.
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