AUGUSTA (AP) — The online home-sharing service Airbnb says it has agreed to start collecting lodging tax in Maine this spring.

Airbnb says it is voluntarily agreeing to start forwarding the tax to Maine by April.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s spokeswoman said that his office applauds the announcement and that it levels the playing field for businesses.

Short-term rentals of living quarters are subject to a nine percent sales tax that property owners much collect and remit. LePage is proposing to increase that to 10 percent, while also ensuring that online home sharing platforms are collecting and remitting the tax.

Last year, 3,700 Airbnb users in Maine earned over $26 million and hosted 174,000 visitors.

Airbnb says it is collecting taxes in listings in 16 other states, including Vermont, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

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