Extra 2-percent surcharge coming to Airbnb rentals in Chicago

CHICAGO — The Chicago City Council on Wednesday approved a plan to add a 2-percent surcharge on home share rentals through websites like Airbnb.

The move brings the city's existing surcharge to 6 percent and is expected to fund more beds at domestic violence shelters.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel previously said the increase could generate about $1.3 million.

The city currently operates 140 shelter beds for domestic violence victims. The mayor’s office said that number could be increased by 50 percent through the new surcharge.

Emanuel said finding a place to sleep can be “a real challenge” for victims. He added that increasing the number of shelter beds would allow the city to provide more supportive services, such as counseling and legal advocacy.

Chicago in 2016 imposed a 4-percent surcharge on platforms like Airbnb. That money was used to help the homeless.