Financial Matters From the WNAV Office Lodging Tax Managing Your Vacation Rental

Lodging Tax Update and Clarification

Written by Joan Talmadge
5/5 - (1 vote)

The tremendous turnout at our recent Homeowner Forums was likely due to concerns about the potential lodging tax.  As we emphasized during the Forums, no tax bill has yet gone into legislation, and we have reason to believe that it will not be passed until after the legislature convenes in formal session in January.  We have no idea whether it will be passed through quickly or if it will linger in committee for months. 

One major point of clarification:

We had previously believed that only the rent would be taxed and not any additional fees, such as cleaning.  But the bill that was presented in 2018 indicates that, in addition to the rent, all other charges, including cleaning, would indeed be taxable items. 

Remember, the tax would not be retroactive.  Any lease that is signed prior to the passing of the tax bill would not have to include a tax, even if the date of the tenancy is after the passing of the bill. 

So, be sure that your listing is active and that you have pricing for next summer!  Reach out to repeat guests, and encourage them to sign a lease before this tax goes into effect. 

For further information, see our FAQs.

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


  • Now that we know the story with the tax bill I am wondering if bookings paid in full prior to July 1 of this year will be exempt from the new egregious tax law.

    • Hi, Tom,
      No, only leases signed prior to January 1, 2019, will be exempt from the taxes. Any lease signed on or after this date for a rental term beginning July 1, 2019, or later must include the rental tax.