History & Tourism

Starting A Richland County Airbnb? Here’s What You Need To Know

28 Apr , 2019  

Destination Mansfield – Richland County has shared information about new updates which impact those in the county who provide overnight lodging to paying guests. As this information is important, it is shared below in its entirety as posted by the organization.

Traveling habits are still evolving and not all travelers opt to stay at hotels. Many travelers choose to book homes, spare apartment rooms, guesthouses, and inns through sites such as Airbnb, VRBO, and hometogo. If you’ve opened your home – or just a room of your home – to paying guests, here’s everything you need to know about collecting Richland County’s Bed Tax.

First, everyone who rents out one room or more to transient guests (guests staying less than 30 days) must collect bed tax – also known as the “Richland County Lodging Excise Tax” of 3% on the cost of the room from the guest who rents the room. This tax must be collected regardless of whether the rentable rooms are part of hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts, cottages, cabins, condominiums, vacation homes or any such structures.

Second, “Operators” (the proprietors of a lodging establishment) must collect this tax when the room is paid for. There is a form located on the auditor’s website called the “Hotel Operators Occupancy Tax Return” (it is available for download here) to fill out and return to the Richland County Auditor on a monthly basis. If your rental property is only open for a portion of the year, you only need to submit the form during the months you rented out rooms and collected tax on the cost of those rooms.

To fuel tourism development and marketing, Hotels have been collecting this tax since the 1980s.  It was time for all who rent rooms to travelers to share in that investment.  Destination Mansfield-Richland County has invested in the ongoing expansion of Richland County’s tourism offerings and promotional opportunities for the organization and its members.  To ensure we were keeping up with the changing tastes of travelers and promoting all lodging options, it was necessary to extend our lodging offerings online and in print…we needed to be more inclusive.  We worked closely with the County Auditor’s Office to update the lodging tax code of regulations.

To help with this transition, we are offering all private rental operators free membership to Destination Mansfield-Richland County for one year. As a Destination Marketing Organization, we welcome all who travel here and accommodate them as best as we can. No matter what preference a guest has in staying overnight, the more inclusive we can be the better. That’s good for visitors and it’s good for you too!

We are always working to improve the profile of Richland County and bring more visitors into town, but here’s what we are doing to help get more eyes on you:

  • To promote non-traditional lodging options to potential visitors, com will feature an expanded Lodging Section to include all types of lodging.
  • The website also offers a simple-to-use booking engine to help travelers “book a room”. Investments in this system have created a tab that links to AirBnB to make booking seamless and give more exposure to Airbnb members. The booking engine is also available on the popular ShawshankTrail.com.
  • Finally, the 2020 Visitor Guide will include an expanded lodging section to highlight these options in our area.
  • You’ll also have access to all our membership benefits and the ongoing support of our organization.

We have identified over three dozen properties in Richland County and notified them of the changes. If we missed you, let us know! We’d love the chance to show you how to tap into all of Destination Mansfield’s benefits. To claim your free year of membership, call our Member Services Director, Amber Dobbins at (419)525-1300, ext. 27.

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