Moline could become the first of the Quad Cities to start taxing its Airbnbs, which means potential guests may start booking rooms somewhere else.

Hotels and motels pay a 7 percent tax to the city. Last year, it generated about $1.7 million for the city, according to OurQuadCities.com.

Moline's Finance Director Kathy Carr estimates adding tax dollars from Airbnbs and other apartment rental sites could bring in thousands of dollars. That's based off  the hotel/motel tax in Rockford, Illinois. About 1.5 percent of the city's hotel/motel tax revenue comes from Airbnb.

Carr says if Moline matches that percentage, it would generate about $30,000 annually, but the tax could leave QC spaces vacant.

Carr said the tax would level the playing field because the hotels already pay it. She estimates there are about 10-15 Airbnbs in the city.

Carr said the revenue from taxes would be a small drop in their $140 million budget. But with sales tax revenue down and extra expenses from a harsh winter, Carr said the city needs all the money it can get.

 

Carr said she's been speaking to other city's who started taxing their Airbnbs and says they didn't see a decline in the hosts.

City council will take their first look at the tax next Tuesday.