June 24, 2017

To tax or not to tax Airbnb rentals? The answer is yes, of course

Asian man holding Smartphone Samsung Galaxy S6 open apps airbnb
Copyright: chonlachai / 123RF Stock Photo

To tax or not to tax Airbnb-style rentals, there should be no question about it.

Of course travelers booking a stay at a house or an apartment through an online portal should be taxed — just as they are at hotels — and there appears to be enough momentum on Beacon Hill to get something done this session after coming close last year.

No excuses this time. More than 250 jurisdictions around the country levy a tax on short-term private rentals offered by Airbnb, including in Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Maine.

But just as important as leveling the playing field for hotel and motel owners — and raising revenue for the state — is developing regulations to ensure guest safety. It’s this piece of the equation that State Representative Aaron Michlewitz, who is sponsoring the House’s legislation on short-term rentals, is pushing for.

Or, as he likes to put it: “The taxation without the regulation piece is where the debate […]

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