Financial Matters From the WNAV Office Lodging Tax

Great News for Cape and Islands Vacation Rental Homeowners!

Written by Joan Talmadge
5/5 - (8 votes)

It has just been announced that Governor Charlie Baker’s budget proposal for fiscal 2018 will include a 5.7 % room occupancy tax for any individual or business that provides short-term rental accommodations – but only for those who rent for 150 days or more per year. This would essentially exempt most seasonal Cape and Islands homes that rent from June through September.  

You may recall that last August, a proposal to tax all short-term rentals cleared the state senate. It was eventually deleted from the economic development package, however, when Baker indicated that he would not support any tax measure that would extend to small bed and breakfasts and summer vacation rentals on the Cape and Islands. 

This new tax is ultimately aimed at short-term rentals in urban areas such as Boston and surrounding cities. The concern is that property owners there are turning residential units into year-round, short-term rentals, thereby depleting the number of long-term rental units. One official noted that the new tax would “apply to people who are basically running a hotel.”  

The bill would authorize the Department of Revenue to establish a working platform with companies like Airbnb that act as an intermediary between renters and property owners. Airbnb could begin collecting taxes as early as July 1, 2017.

This is all the information we have at this time, and we will keep you apprised of the situation as events unfold. 

About the author

Joan Talmadge

Joan Talmadge - My husband Jeff and I created in 1997, shortly after buying our Cape home. My background includes teaching fifth grade for 8 years and writing and editing educational publications for 15. I get great joy from helping fellow homeowners successfully rent their homes. Jeff and I are proud to have two of our three grown children working for, truly a family-run business. For me, the Cape and Islands are magical all times of the year -- whether it's walking on Nauset Beach, playing golf, or enjoying family and friends. Email Joan


  • Joan,
    Thank you for keeping us updated on this important issue. We are very pleased with the newly revised law.
    I have been using for about 10 years and think it’s terrific.
    Each year I am pleased with the improvements you make.
    I was wondering if you have any plans to add Paypal to the website?
    listing 8934

  • Thanks Joan,

    I’ve been following this issue with great interest and just read the news myself. I love your website and all you do for us.

  • Hi Joan,
    Many Thanks for looking out for our interests…’s not often that one can win a fight against
    the Bureaucratic Tax & Regulatory groups.

    Your efforts in representing us and keeping us informed of this effective “confiscatory” tax
    has given us peace or mind in managing our retirement funds,
    but also to
    not having to deal with the many regulations…both State & Local…that would be
    infringing on our personal lives, quality of life……and without questions more paperwork,
    and slowly, but inevitably Local “Building” Inspectors, backed up by physical inspections
    of our seasonal cottage, required “safety” improvements, compliance laws, fees, and
    eventual knocking us out of business !!!!

    So looking forward to continuing partnership with Weeneedavacation, and the help
    that you provide us….so that we actually really are able to enjoy and have fun
    renting out our cottage.

    P.S. We took your telecon recommendations on rearranging cottage pictures, etc.
    and we are getting significantly early, and more inquiries/bookings this time of year !!!

    Thanx again, Happy New Year

    Frannie & Joe

  • Thanks for posting, but not great news for many of us Cape Cod rentals. We have so many renters at different affordable price points so we extended our season April 1 through November 1 so everyone gets a week that is affordable to them. Either I cut the extended weeks off – or I’ll be charging everyone 5.7% tax to accommodate the law. And I will be charging a lodging tax while other renters on my street will not.