House chair forecasts action on vacation rental tax this year

Peake, Whelan are in favor of it

This could be the year that lawmakers begin imposing a room occupancy tax on summer cottages, House Revenue Chairman Jay Kaufman said at a hearing on Tuesday. "We are actually trying to address this issue on a statewide basis," Kaufman told Brewster Republican Rep. Timothy Whelan, who testified in favor of a 5 percent local tax on medical marijuana sold in Dennis, and a room occupancy tax on vacation homes in Brewster.

Kaufman also offered encouragement to Rep. Sarah Peake, a Provincetown Democrat and member of House leadership, who said she has continually filed bills to no avail supporting an expansion of the room occupancy tax since she joined the House in 2007.

"It's a little embarrassing at Town Meeting," Peake told the Revenue Committee.

Peake testified in favor of a local Provincetown bill on Wednesday, though she also supports a broader effort that she said "addresses the inequity" of vacation rentals enjoying a tax discount compared to hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts. "I think this will be the year," Kaufman told Peake.


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