‘Airbnb’ Regulation Bill Snagged in Senate Committee

A bill to require short term rentals, such as Airbnb, and individuals who hosts on those platforms to be registered with the Comptroller and regulated hit a road block in the Senate Finance Committee on Friday. It is unlikely to make it out of committee.

The Baltimore Sun reports:

Members of the Senate Finance Committee expressed little interest in passing a bill during a work group meeting on the issue Friday afternoon.

They’re considering a bill that would require short-term rentals posted on websites like Airbnb, HomeAway and FlipKey to file paperwork with the state, pay state sales taxes and pay local hotel taxes.

After a couple hours of discussion, committee chairman Sen. Thomas “Mac” Middleton said it seems that the General Assembly may best be suited only to deal with the issue of state sales taxes. The state Comptroller’s Office already has taken the position that short-term property rentals through websites are subject to the state sales tax.

Local governments are better suited to deal with making sure their local hotel taxes are collected, Middleton said. Local hotel taxes range from 3 percent to 9.5 percent.

MACo participated in Friday’s work group and had supported the bill in question, SB 463, with amendments.

Read The Baltimore Sun for more information.

Prior coverage on Conduit Street:

MACo Backs Regulation of Short Term Rentals Protects Local Autonomy

Airbnb Bill Ignites Debate Between Old Regulations and New Economies

MACo testimony on SB 463.