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11/26/2017 5:52:00 PM
Rental hosts profit from IU football weekends

Kurt Christian, Herald-Times

Indiana University’s home football games this year drew more Airbnb guests to Bloomington than ever before and earned hosts more than $359,000.

Six Hoosier home games brought nearly 3,400 guests to some of Bloomington’s 280 active hosts, according to a report from the short-term rental website Airbnb. During the Oct. 14-15 weekend, the homecoming game pitting IU against Michigan brought in 830 Airbnb guests and earned hosts $100,000 in supplemental income. That weekend marked the largest surge of travelers to Bloomington in the history of the Airbnb platform.

By comparison, the Lafayette and West Lafayette communities have a combined 100 active Airbnb hosts. In 2017, the communities hosted 1,500 guests and earned $105,000 during Purdue University’s home football games. For the Old Oaken Bucket Game Saturday, when IU traveled to West Lafayette to play rival Purdue, Airbnb projected 160 guests would generate $11,000 for the Lafayette and West Lafayette communities.

According to a state law that was adopted in March 2016, short-term rental properties marketed through the internet must pay state retail taxes and innkeeper’s taxes where applicable. Monroe County has a 5 percent tax that’s collected from hotels, motels, inns and residence halls for stays lasting less than 30 days.

Airbnb spokesman Ben Breit said throughout most of the Midwest, Airbnb handles the payment of those taxes. But in Indiana, the individuals hosting the Airbnb are responsible for paying the state and local taxes themselves.

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