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HONOR SYSTEM: Without an agreement with Airbnb, tax revenue relies on voluntary compliance

Check into a hotel anywhere in St. Johns County, and your charges will include a 4-percent tourism bed tax. The bed tax also applies to all short-term rentals booked through Airbnb and similar online platforms.

What might be lesser known is a state statute that’s been on the books for some time now. Under Florida’s homestead tax exemption, the allowance for any property that is used as a rental for more than 30 days per calendar year must be recalculated to take into account the portion used for business purposes.

“You’ll still qualify for the exemption, but it will be proportioned to remove the part of the room in square footage that you are renting out,” Eddie Creamer, the county’s property assessor, said in a recent interview with The Record.

And if the property is rented out for more than six months of the year, the homestead exemption does not apply at all, which does mean more taxable revenue is returned to the county and the schools, Creamer said.

Clearly, more and more homeowners fall under that category.

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