A group of Berkshire REALTORS went to Boston on June 10th, 2015, to meet with our legislators about issues affecting private property rights and home ownership in the Commonwealth and in Berkshire County.
REALTORS® Oppose Local Imposition of Room Occupancy Tax:
Occupancy tax proposals promote the creation of a new tax on homeowners who choose to rent their homes for a short term. In addition to established businesses like hotels, motels and bed and breakfast establishments, these proposals would allow a city or town to levy a room occupancy tax on any apartment, single or multiple family housing, cottage, condominium or timeshare unit. Private homeowners or real estate agents would then be responsible for the collection, handling, and remittance of these taxes to the Department of Revenue. The bills generally authorize a municipality to assess additional taxes on homeowners who rent their homes for vacation purposes.
Action: We opposed this legislation as written. MAR has created a taskforce to study this issue in more depth and will try to develop an alternative that would support local businesses dealing with unfair competition of large developments operating as defacto revolving hotel rooms, while protecting and preserving the homeowners property rights. We conveyed the impact of this legislation on Berkshire homeowners who are able to meet their annual financial obligations due to the summer rentals to incoming artists and musicians. We also oppose any legislation that would require REALTORS to collect, report and disburse taxes.