Co-owner of WeNeedaVacation.com, Jeff Talmadge, two members of our staff, and I spent this past Thursday at the State House in Boston for the second time in a month advocating on behalf of our homeowners against the proposed Lodging Tax. We met first with Rep. Jay Kaufman, Chair of the Joint Committee on Revenue, and then Rachel Lake, Operations and Constituent Services Director for Senator Julian Cyr, who represents the Cape and Islands.
As we mentioned in previous communications on the topic of the Lodging Tax, the momentum is growing among Cape and Islands Chambers of Commerce and state legislators across the state to impose the 11.7% Lodging Tax to all short-term rentals, with 5.7% going to the state and up to 6% to the towns.
Our opinion piece that was published in the Cape Cod Times on April 5, “Lodging Tax Will Gut Tourism Industry,” outlines our reasons for opposing this tax.
Despite our concerted efforts for nearly ten years, it is becoming increasingly clear that legislators are intent on imposing this tax and will likely succeed. View Chairman Kaufman’s honest assessment in our interview with him Thursday:
Homeowners can certainly continue to lobby against this tax, but a more realistic approach at this point might be to attempt to mitigate the negative effects it would have on the Cape and Islands. In our discussions with legislators, we’ve recommended phasing in the tax over a period of several years in order to soften the blow of such a large tax all at once. We are also advocating to have the tax imposed only on rentals that are rented for longer than 100 days, and for a bill that would distinguish between different rental markets.
The legislators need to hear the voices of homeowners! We urge you to write to any or all of the legislators below, all of whom have submitted bills to impose this tax. It’s important that you voice your opinion about this tax and its potential effect on you personally, your guests, and the Cape and Islands vacation industry overall. We are doing everything we can, but ours is only one voice and strongly needs the support of others.
Wondering what to say to the legislators? View our opinion piece referenced above: Lodging Tax Will Gut Tourism Industry for specific arguments against the tax.
Representative Sarah Peake, Lower and Outer Cape, Sarah.Peake@mahouse.gov, Bills H2642, H2637, H2640
Senator Julian Cyr, Cape and Islands, firstname.lastname@example.org, supporting Rep. Peake’s Bill H2642
Senator Michael Rodriguez, First Bristol and Plymouth, Michael.Rodrigues@masenate.gov, Bill SD 1118
Representative Aaron Michlewitz, 3rd Suffolk, Aaron.M.Michlewitz@mahouse.gov, Bill H3454
Senator Eric Lesser, First Hampden and Hampshire, email@example.com, Bill S1553
Representative Brian Dempsey, House Chair of Ways and Means, Brian.Dempsey@mahouse.gov