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On Thursday, Airbnb announced that, starting January 15th, the company will begin collecting the FULL Illinois hotel tax from its hosts, a major win for the city’s hoteliers and hotel business. In February, the platform added a 4.5 percent tax to its bills, nearly 12 percent less than what hotels in the city and state collect. Now, a full 16.4 percent tax will be automatically included in all renters’ bills.
In a blog post titled ‘Paying Our Fair Share in Illinois,’ Airbnb said that “We’re happy to be taking this important step that helps our host community and makes Illinois stronger.”
The company also said that it expects to contribute approximately $2.5 million in tax revenue to the city by February 2016 and that it will “continue to work with leaders on common sense rules for home sharing.” [More Here]
NowSecure Beefs Up its Board:
NowSecure, a Chicago-based mobile security platform and app, announced that Justin Somaini, Chief Trust Officer with Silicon Valley file sharing giant Box, and Amanda Lannert, CEO with Chicago’s Jellyvision, have joined its Board.
Added Lannert, “Mobile is our present and our future and the companies successfully executing on its opportunities and challenges, will win big. But, while many organizations are focusing on how to make mobile bigger and better, NowSecure is trying to make it safer.”
Honey Butter Fried Chicken Goes Tech:
Thanks to a new device from Square, small businesses can now easily accept chip cards and mobile payments through services like Apple Pay. The reader is rolling out to just a hundred local businesses in a few select cities and Avondale’s Honey Butter Fried Chicken is one of the first merchants in the country to have the device.
“We’ve always wanted to offer our customers the option to pay with Apple Pay and we’re thrilled that Square has helped us make this a reality,” said Joshua Kulp, Executive Chef.
Download Some National Tech News:
Thursday, Walmart announced its own mobile payment app and system, Walmart Pay.
FWD.us, a non-profit that fights for immigration reform on behalf of the tech community, launched a web series yesterday highlighting the harsh reality and high costs of mass deportation.
Electronic Arts, a leading maker of sports video games, is launching a new eSports division. [More in Re/Code]