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Lodging Tax Bill – Last Chance to Speak Up

Written by Joan Talmadge
5/5 - (3 votes)

As we reported in our April newsletter, both the House and the Senate have approved their own version of the lodging tax bill:  House bill; Senate bill.  A joint committee of House and Senate members will create a compromise version of the bill, which will then be sent to Governor Baker for signing.  Any bill that is ultimately passed would take effect after the 2018 rental season.

We have one last chance to voice our thoughts and concerns to the committee members. Although a lodging tax for short term vacation rentals is all but certain, we might still have a mitigating impact on the details.

The House bill imposes three different tax rates, depending on the number of units an owner rents, and requires the Department of Revenue to maintain a short-term rental registry. The Senate bill is more straightforward and less regulatory, imposing 5.7% state tax. Both bills include a local tax up to 6%, to be determined by each town. They also include a 2.75% wastewater tax for the Cape and Islands.

Below are the joint committee members and their email addresses. If you are a MA resident, be sure to copy your area representative and/or senator as well. 

House members:  Aaron Michlewitz; Sarah Peake; F. Jay Barrows

Senate members: Ryan Fattman; Karen Spilka; Michael Rodrigues

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


  • Have they defined, “Short term vacation rentals”? Is it only on the rental fee or all fees charged?

  • A lodging tax will hurt tourism and ultimately travel to the state, this is a horrible idea!!

  • Thank you Joan. What is the ask? Is it an exemption of short term rentals below a certain number of weeks?

  • This tax will kill Cape Cod. I do not believe the “statistics” saying there will be no negative impact. Not true!!! I will stop renting my cottage 50 % of the time, and Harwich will lose beach sticker pass money. Businesses will lose – pizza place, ice place, kite shop, etc.
    To expect renters to pay for waste water is WRONG!!! We all use water and I already pay water tax on my cottage.

  • Thanks Joan. Do you have standard verbiage that we can send in as concerned landlords which contains the key points of contention from our perspective? Greatly appreciated. (I can modify this of course, but it would be a great help)