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Time to take action on proposed lodging tax legislation

Written by Joan Talmadge
4.1/5 - (11 votes)

To voice your opinion on this proposed tax, you can email or write to your state representative.  If you are a MA resident, contact the rep. in the town where you vote. If you live out of state, contact the rep. in the town where your rental home is located.  Read a letter that one of our homeowners intends to send to her state rep. 

 If you do not have the time to compose a letter, and if you are opposed to this proposed tax, feel free to use the sample provided below as a template.

Dear (State Rep and/or State Senator):

Re: Proposed Lodging Tax on Private Rental Homes

      Room Occupancy Excise Tax, docket # 1614

I would like to voice my strong opposition to legislation that would give towns the right to impose a lodging tax on private vacation rental homes. Although this tax would bring immediate revenue to the towns, it could ultimately harm the tourism market, which in turn could bring down overall real estate values.

To make it perfectly clear:


A lodging tax on top of vacationers’ rental payment could easily lead some to go elsewhere for their vacation. This would send exactly the wrong message to visitors at the same time that the Chamber of Commerce is trying to attract new visitors to the Cape and Islands.

Many vacationing families return to the same rental home every summer. A nearly 12% increase in their rent can be extremely disruptive to the repeat business that many homeowners rely on.

I urge you to strongly voice your opinion against the Room Occupancy Excise Tax (docket # 1614) and vote it down if it gets to the floor for a vote. Let’s protect the underpinnings of the Cape and Islands economy.  

Best Regards,

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


  • I STRONGLY OPPOSE ANY MASSACHUSETTS LEGISLATION TO IMPOSE A LODGING TAX ON PRIVATE HOME SUMMER OR SEASONAL RENTALS IN THE STATE. I rent my cottage part time in Wellfleet to be able to afford to keep the place. I would necessarily pass the tax to my renters. Think about the consequences of that. They would find the town and my cottage more expensive and might decide to go elsewhere. I already pay a real estate tax.which has increased dramatically over time. I maintain the road to my house, the well and the septic. Wellfleet already has plenty of my tax $.

    • Thank you for your comments, Wes. I agree that this is not necessarily a tax that we could blithely pass on to our renters, particularly repeat renters who are accustomed to a consistent rental rate and may not be able to afford a 12% increase. I hope you will express your opinions to your local rep.