Governor Files Short-Term Rental Bill

North End/Waterfront community organizations, residents and other interested parties have been patiently waiting for legislation governing and regulating short-term rentals that have been supported throughout the community.

At a North End/Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) meeting, the community received not so good information that Governor Charlie Baker has requested several amendments.

The Governor did so in early August after the formal legislative session concluded for the year.

Representative Aaron Michlewitz call the original bill a “strong one that he was proud of.” He added, “I thought it was going to be over, but it’s a never-ending story to say the least.”

The proposed bill will be taxed by the state (5.7 percent) and could possibly be taxed by the municipality up to 6 percent.

Owners with two-short-term rentals in the same municipality could be taxed an additional three percent, a portion of which would revert to affordable housing.

Michlewitz clearly noted, “It’s the dual ownership that’s taking up the housing stock.”

An online public registry of every available short-term rental in the state is included in the bill. “It allows for municipal and public enforcement to take place,” Michlewitz told the community group.

Reportedly, Governor Baker sent back the bill with four proposed amendments including exempting homeowners that rent out their units for less than 14 days per year. He apparently wants the number of addresses removed from the public registry.

Michlewitz believes, “Limiting the information to the public cuts away at the Registry and is against the idea.” He added, “I don’t know what is going to happen but we will keep working on it.”

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