Proposed Tax Would Add To Cost Of Airbnb Rentals

Jun 8, 2017

The budget recently approved by the Massachusetts Senate would add a new tax to short-term room rentals such as Airbnb. The company is in favor of the tax, but not everyone is as enthusiastic.

The Senate proposal would apply the 5.7 percent state hotel tax to Airbnb-type rentals. Cities and towns would be able to tack on another six percent.

Rachael Naismith of Northampton has been renting a room in her home through Airbnb for more than four years, and doesn't sound thrilled with the plan.

"I think we accept that there's going to be a tax and we know that it's been happening in a lot of places, " Naismith said. "I think it's unfortunate but we accept it and understand it."

The House did not include a similar tax in its budget, but is holding hearings on its own proposal developed by Representative Aaron Michlewitz.

The taxon short-term rentals, meant to level the playing field with hotels, have the support of Airbnb itself. The company has offered to collect the taxes through its website, and began airing a new TV ad this week lobbying for a tax system that "protects affordable housing" with "common-send home sharing rules."

The State House News Service contributed to this report.