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Airbnb pays city of Paris 1.2 million euros in tourist tax

Airbnb employees at the company's Paris office in April, 2015 AFP/ Martin Bureau

The home rental web platform Airbnb, which last year agreed to start charging users in Paris a tourist tax, handed over nearly 1.2 million euros to city authorities in the last quarter of 2015, according to city authorities.

After coming under fire from hotel chains, Airbnb reached an agreement with the Paris authorities last year and from October 2015 has charged users a tourist tax of 83 cents per night which it then passes on to Paris City Hall.

As a result, Airbnb contributed 1.169 million euros to Paris city coffers for the last quarter of 2015. The municipality told French news agency AFP the amount corresponds to 1.4 million overnight stays over this period.

The agreement followed similar pledges by the San Francisco group to collect and remit taxes in Amsterdam from January 2015 and the US capital Washington and Chicago from February 2015.

Airbnb which allows people to rent out their rooms, apartments or homes was launched in 2008 and quickly became very popular.

But traditional hotel chains see it as a rival and accuse it of helping people avoid taxes and hosting illegal hotels on its website.