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VOL. 133 | NO. 15 | Friday, January 19, 2018

Daily Digest

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Airbnb Enters Tax Collection Agreement with Tennessee

Airbnb announced Thursday, Jan. 18, it has entered into a statewide tax agreement with the Tennessee Department of Revenue that will allow the company to collect and remit state and local sales taxes on behalf of its 7,700 Tennessee hosts.

With the tax agreement in place, the state will be able to fully capitalize on people visiting Tennessee and staying longer through home sharing.

Effective March 1, Airbnb will automatically collect and remit both the state sales tax (7 percent) and local sales taxes (1.5-2.75 percent depending on the local jurisdiction) on all taxable Airbnb bookings in Tennessee.

More than $13 million in state and local sales tax revenue is due annually from Airbnb bookings in Tennessee (based on 2017 numbers).

This agreement will ensure all of this revenue is collected in a way that is easy for the hosts and state.

Airbnb has partnered with about 350 local governments throughout the U.S. to collect and remit taxes – including the city of Memphis.

The statewide agreement with Tennessee covers taxes assessed by the state, meaning any cities with their own separately assessed room taxes will require their own agreements with Airbnb – similar to the agreement with Memphis announced in May. That agreement authorized Airbnb to collect and remit Memphis’ occupancy and tourist taxes.

Airbnb is currently in discussions with both Hamilton County (Chattanooga) and Knoxville regarding prospective agreements to collect and remit their occupancy taxes.

The deal was lauded by state lawmakers such as Sen. John Stevens, R-Huntingdon, who said it’s a plus for state revenue collections and enables Tennesseans to take “full advantage of their private property rights” to make additional income.

“Home sharing and short-term rentals are introducing a whole new world of travelers to the authenticity of Tennessee while offering new economic opportunities for thousands of middle-class residents,” said Laura Spanjian, Tennessee policy director for Airbnb. “We applaud the (Gov. Bill) Haslam administration for its business-friendly approach to public policy.”

Home sharing has impacted many Tennessee communities like Knoxville, which can see hotels sell out during high-volume visitor weekends to college football games.

In a release, Airbnb says hotel revenue in Tennessee has continued to increase even as its home-sharing service has grown, suggesting it has opened up the state to a new population of prospective tourists by catering to travelers “less able to afford hotels, those who desire to stay in neighborhoods or cities that lack hotels, and families who prefer to be together under one roof.”

Airbnb welcomes the opportunity to secure tax agreements with any additional Tennessee municipalities who assess their taxes independently.

Local governments can email taxagreements@airbnb.com if they are interested in partnering with Airbnb on occupancy tax collections.

– Daily News staff

Baptist Women’s Hospital To Receive Hugging Grant

Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women is one of four hospitals receiving a $10,000 grant from Huggies to support or establish volunteer hugging programs for newborns in neonatal intensive care units.

The No Baby Unhugged grant will help provide more hugs to the 70 percent of babies in Baptist’s NICU that receive very few visitors.

Hugging programs can have a positive impact on a baby’s growth and development and even help make their transition from the hospital to the home quicker, research has shown, according to Huggies.

In addition to Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women, the other hospitals receiving grants in January include Southern Regional Medical Center in Riverdale, Georgia; Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley, California; and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford of Palo Alto, California.

These four hospitals join 11 that received No Baby Unhugged grants in 2017.

Huggies will continue to award No Baby Unhugged grants throughout 2018. Hospitals interested in applying can check huggies.com for details.

– Daily News staff

Burlington Coat Factory Getting New Eastgate Building

Dallas-based Arrow Retail is planning a new retail building in the Eastgate Shopping Center for Burlington Coat Factory, according to a Jan. 17 building permit application filed with the Office of Construction Code Enforcement.

The $2.6 million permit application calls for a “new retail building” at 5048 Park Ave. that includes “concrete foundations, slab, HVAC ... and related items.”

Montgomery Martin is listed as the contractor on the permit, while Arrow and Burlington were listed as the owner and tenant, respectively.

– Patrick Lantrip

Grizzlies Down Knicks Behind Evans’ Double-Double

Tyreke Evans continued his strong play, scoring 23 points and handing out 10 assists as the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the New York Knicks 105-99 Wednesday night, Jan. 17, at FedExForum.

The Grizzlies (15-28) have won two straight and six of their last 11 games.

The victory came without center Marc Gasol, who missed the game due to an illness.

Point guard Mike Conley (heel) and forward Chandler Parsons (knee) also remained sidelined.

Forward JaMychal Green posted a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Dillon Brooks and Jarell Martin each scored 17 points.

The Grizzlies return to action at

FedExForum with a 7 p.m. game Friday vs. Sacramento. It marks the return of former Grizzly favorite Zach Randolph.

– Don Wade

Election Commission Offers Class on Running for Office

People who are running for office can find out how to do it at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, at the Operations Center of the Shelby County Election Commission (SCEC), 980 Nixon Drive.

“This informational session is in a classroom format. To be clear, it will not address what candidates need to do to campaign for office,” said Linda Phillips, administrator of elections. “It is solely for the purpose of educating people about the procedure to qualify for candidacy, and their responsibilities with regards to campaign finance requirements.”

The class will last about an hour and is completely nonpartisan.

SCEC began issuing petitions to run for office in the May county general primary on Nov. 17. Petitions will continue to be issued until the qualifying deadline, which is Feb. 15 at noon.

Petitions are available at either of the SCEC offices. The commission’s second office is located at 150 Washington Ave.

Though it is not necessary to register to attend the Saturday class, those who do will be guaranteed a printed packet of information.

“If there’s a lot of interest, we may not have enough printed packets to go around if people don’t let us know they’ll be attending,” Phillips said.

To register, contact Carol Collinsworth at 222-1203, or email her at carol.collinsworth@shelbycountytn.gov.

– Daily News staff

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 85 205 21,165
MORTGAGES 76 206 24,338
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 27 34 3,135
BUILDING PERMITS 183 321 43,755
BANKRUPTCIES 48 92 13,560
BUSINESS LICENSES 31 44 6,756
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 25 32 7,931
MARRIAGE LICENSES 22 41 4,775