Updated 01:02 AM EDT, Wed, May 12, 2021

Olympics 2016: Brazil to Tax Home-Rental Owners Prior to Rio De Janeiro Games

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Brazil is planning to implement tax to home owners who rent out properties or rooms on the online home-rental marketplace, Airbnb Inc., ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in August.

According to The Globe and Mail, the head of the tourism agency Embratur, Vinícius Lummertz, was in discussion with Airbnb and hotel industry executives. One of Lummertz's aides, Jose Gayoso, said that both parties have decided on a proposal to tax registered renters.

In an interview via telephone, Gayoso said that the tax amount and whether it would be collected by the federal government or state governments are not fully decided on yet, the news outlet further reported.

"It will be a fair tax that will not be passed on to consumers or ruin the business," said Gayoso, as quoted by The Globe and Mail.

Brazil has lifted a number of taxes this year as it "scrambles to plug a gaping fiscal deficit that is undermining confidence in its once-booming economy," The Globe and Mail wrote. The South American country's hotel industry has complained that Airbnb is stealing business at a period of major recession. The plan to implement tax on Airbnb is approved by hotel owners and regarded it as fair treatment.

Gayoso said that Airbnb has no problem with taxation because they wish to have a stronger position in the Brazilian economy, given that the company's services are highly required for next year's Olympics, the news outlet added. Airbnb's official contract indicated that the company has to provide at least 20,000 rooms for the upcoming Olympics.

Added Gayoso, Airbnb helped Brazil resolve an accommodation issue that happened during the 2014 World Cup, which attracted more soccer fans than the country's hotel industry could hold, The Globe and Mail noted.

Brazil Evicts Families from Homes in Preparation for 2016 Olympics

In October, it was reported that Brazilian officials are evicting families from homes to accommodate a high-speed bus lane connecting the international airport with Barra da Tijuca, the neighborhood that will host majority of next year's Olympics venues, The Guardian reported.

Housing advocacy groups said that the local government is using the upcoming event to justify forced evictions and segregation in Rio de Janeiro, The Guardian wrote. Figures from the city government showed that 22,059 families have been resettled since 2009 either because their homes are at risk or blocking transport and infrastructure projects related to the Olympics.

City hall insisted that the only resettlements connected with the Olympics are 344 families at Vila Autódromo, located on the edges of the main Olympic Park, the news outlet noted. Several families have been moved to Parque Carioca, a condominium complex 1km away.

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