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State News: Massachusetts Lawmakers Reach Short-Term Rental Agreement


With the clock ticking on the end of the two-year session, House and Senate leaders finalized a deal Thursday to tax and regulate short-term housing rentals through websites like Airbnb, reviving a bill that passed in July but was imperiled by concerns raised by Gov. Charlie Baker.

The new version still would apply the 5.7 percent hotel and motel room tax to units rented on a short-term basis. Legislative leaders, however, agreed to a change proposed by Baker that would exempt homeowners who rent out their units for 14 or fewer days a year from having to collect the tax.

The House and Senate also agreed to postpone an extra Boston Convention and Exhibition Center financing fee on short-term units rented in Boston, Cambridge, Worcester, Springfield, West Springfield and Chicopee for about 10 years, or until the bonds on the BCEC are paid.

The bill reached Baker’s desk Thursday night, giving the governor 10 days to review the final redraft and decide whether to sign this new version. The new legislative session begins on Jan. 2, and Baker gets sworn in for his second term on Jan. 3.

More here from Commonwealth Magazine and the State House News Service.


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