Lawmakers considering bill on short-term rental tax

The state could generate $18 million in new revenue.

BOSTON (WWLP) – Lawmakers are pushing to pass legislation to tax and regulate short-term rentals, like Airbnb, a move that could bring the state much needed revenue.

The state’s Financial Services Committee heard from the public Tuesday on a bill that would establish a short term rental excise tax ranging from 5 to 10 percent.

The proposal sets taxes on homes and apartments based on how often they are rented. Several residents spoke at the hearing who supported regulating the industry to prevent landlords from forcing out long-time residents.

Airbnb supports the bill, but is asking lawmakers to allow the company to collect the tax for residents and then give it to the state.

“What it does do is level the playing field between short term rentals and hotels, and it makes sure cities and states have the resources they need to accomplish what they need to for their people,” Will Burns, Public Policy Director of Airbnb told 22News.

The Senate estimates that the state could generate $18 million in new revenue by charging a five percent excise tax on short-term rentals.

With a current revenue shortfall of more than $400 million, lawmakers are banking on short-term rental taxes to bring new revenue to the state.