As part of annual budget legislation, the State Senate is expected to approve a tax on short-term rentals via the web such as Airbnb, the State House News Service reported. The tax would be at the same rate as current state hotel and motel taxes. To date, Islanders who let out rooms via the web have enjoyed proceeds devoid of hospitality taxes.
The Martha’s Vineyard short-term rental market, historically strong during the season, has in recent years become white-hot with the rise of Airbnb. Many Island spaces that once were difficult to market are readily rented on the popular hosting site. This has exacerbated an increasingly fraught housing market, where year-round rentals have become scarce and their accompanying rents have inflated to summer levels. The revenue from anticipated taxes will flow to state coffers. It is unclear whether any of the tax money, or aid derived from it, will eventually trickle back to the Island to help address the year-round rental market.