State lawmakers considering tax on short-term rentals

Non-traditional lodging now makes up about 15% of market

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Lawmakers are working to add a tax to short-term rentals in Massachusetts, such as those booked through the popular website Airbnb.

Traditional hotels are taxed by the state, so some lawmakers think that putting a tax on short-term rentals will level the playing field.

Wednesday, the Senate dismissed a proposal that only taxed those who rent out a space for 30 days or more. Governor Charlie Baker has proposed putting this tax on homeowners who provide rooms for 150 days or more out of the year.

22News spoke Friday with Athena Stylos, who has been renting-out two spaces in Northampton through Airbnb for over a year. She agrees that she and others who temporarily rent their spaces should be taxed.

“I want to pull my fair share. Me in particular, I happen to have a lot of guests, so I am kind of like a business, but even when I don’t have a lot of guests, I don’t see any reason not to,” Stylos said.

Lawmakers have not yet proposed a set rate hike. The Senate’s chief budget writer said that a possible tax would raise $18 million for the state.

Non-traditional lodging now represents 15% of the temporary lodging market, and continues to grow.