By Tim Kowols
Unlike a growing list of municipalities across the country, the Door County Tourism Zone will not enter into an agreement with social lodging site Airbnb to collect room taxes. The Door County Tourism Zone collects a 5.5 percent room tax from over 1,000 permit holders with the funds going towards member municipalities and tourism efforts with the Door County Visitor Bureau. Tourism Zone chairperson Josh VanLieshout says while an agreement with Airbnb would make it easier to get revenues from property owners that rent their own buildings for lodging; the commission has balked at the idea because of the lack of information it would be given.
VanLieshout says the commission is talking to Airbnb this week to claim some of the room tax dollars were wrongfully taken after the state of Wisconsin entered into an agreement with the company to collect state taxes. The Door County Tourism Zone collected over $4.5 million dollars in room sales taxes in 2016, continuing an upward trend since the commission first had all 19 municipalities on board in 2009.