A recent article in the Worcester Telegram prompted me to look into the current status of any proposed legislation regarding the extension of the lodging tax to private home rentals. For the past ten years or so, local state legislators (primarily from the Cape) have proposed extending this tax to include vacation rental homes.
Currently hotels, motels, and inns in MA pay an 11.7% tax: 5.7% goes to the state and 6% to the individual towns. If this tax were to be imposed on vacation rental homes, rental homeowners would be faced with the decision of absorbing the tax themselves or passing it on to their tenants.
Governor Patrick’s 2015 budget did include a measure to extend the lodging tax to private homes. When I communicated with Rep. Alice Peisch of Wellesley last week, however, she indicated that the House Ways and Means budget, released on April 9, did not include any changes to the lodging tax. Rep. Peisch feels that there is little chance that this topic will come up again during this budget season.
So, for now, we rental homeowners do not need to worry about how we would go about paying this additional tax.