Representative Aaron Michlewitz, who represents the North End and parts of Beacon Hill, has co-sponsored legislation that would put in place state regulations for short-term residential rentals that would empower cities and towns to inspect these units for safety code violations and mandate that short-term renters pay an excise tax, similar to the state’s hotel tax.
The bill makes perfect sense for several reasons, especially those dealing with potential health issues.
In addition, the short-term rental business should be subjected to the same taxes that hotels and other establishments muts adhere to.
We understand that Senator Anthony Petruccelli also supports the bill and will do his part when the bill makes its way to the Senate.
Short-term rentals are a growing concern in communities across the state, according to Representative Michlewitz.
Michlewitz believes, along with many others, short-term rental units are a result of the innovative economy that has arrived in Massachusetts. The legislature wants to ensure that these units are safe and secure places that work within the rules and regulations that the hospitality industry already operates under.
During the past several months, there has been a controversy related to short-term rentals that are unsupervised for both health reasons and lost tax possibilities.
Boston City Councilor Sal LaMattina, who supports the bill, has been looking into the issue, because he has seen these units firsthand and believes it needs to be publicly discussed to make the appropriate changes to comply with Boston city codes.
The bill has been applauded by the President and CEO of the Massachusetts Lodging Association for creating a fair playing field.
Residents are encouraged to call their legislators to support this bill.