1,500 Airbnb listings in Portland, but most proprietors don't follow the law

1,500 Airbnb listings in Portland, but most proprietors don't follow the law »Play Video
Jen Zak rents this trailer but doesn't pay city hotel taxes.

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The City Council is close to finalizing a sweeping set of rules to regulate rental listings on the popular website Airbnb.com.

Airbnb lets ordinary people rent their bedrooms or basements on a nightly basis to anyone anywhere in the world.

There are about 1,500 listings in the city of Portland, according to analysts from the revenue bureau.

Only 28 of them pay the required taxes and follow city ordinances regulating lodging, like fire codes, safety inspections and insurance.

Mayor Charlie Hales says the city is missing out on $500,000 in lost tax money and plans to track down the renters, according to spokeswoman Sara Hottman.

Starting July 1, Airbnb struck an agreement with the city to collect the 11.5 percent hotel tax upfront and pass along the money directly, instead of putting the burden on homeowners themselves who may not be aware of the tax.