Massachusetts Senate to debate short-term rental bill

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The Massachusetts Senate is set to debate legislation regulating short-term rentals like those made through online platforms like Airbnb.

The legislation the Senate is expected to take up Wednesday would impose existing state hotel taxes on the rooms and allow communities to impose local excise taxes.

The Senate bill differs from legislation recently approved by the Massachusetts House.

The Massachusetts Lodging Association, which represents local hotels and motels, welcomed the House version of the bill.

Airbnb criticized the House bill calling it overly burdensome.

The travel website Expedia criticized the Senate version of the bill saying it “unfairly targets online travel agents and will hurt Massachusetts’ consumers.”

The Senate says their version of the bill would generate about $34.5 million in state taxes and $25.5 million in local taxes annually.

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