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Airbnb: 'Hosts' in Maine Earned More Than $26 Million in 2016

PORTLAND, Maine - New numbers from the online short-term rental marketplace Airbnb show that about 174,000 people used the service in Maine 2016.  The company says that's a 100 percent increase from the year before. "Hosts," as they're called, in Maine, earned more than $26 million last year.

The majority of those rentals were in Portland, where about 51,000 people rented Airbnb's -- earning owners about $7 million.

The other top markets were Bar Harbor, South Portland, Ellsworth and Old Orchard Beach.

The huge rise in the popularity of short-term rentals over the last few years has led to calls to regulate and tax them more effectively.

On a state level, Gov. Paul LePage's proposed budget specifies that companies like Airbnb should collect taxes directly from renters and pass it along to the state, as a hotel would. Andrew Kalloch, of Airbnb, says the company is working on making an arrangement like that in Maine,

"Our hope is we'll be able to come to an agreement with the state soon, and start collecting before summer season kicks into high gear," Kalloch says.

Several communities in Maine have either enacted, or are considering, ordinances on Airbnb's and similar rentals, and Portland is set to vote on regulations that would limit their number, and charge owners fees.


Nora is originally from the Boston area but has lived in Chicago, Michigan, New York City and at the northern tip of New York state. Nora began working in public radio at Michigan Radio in Ann Arbor and has been an on-air host, a reporter, a digital editor, a producer, and, when they let her, played records.