On Tax Day – Taxpayers Are Reminded of the Airbnb Tax

On Tax Day – Taxpayers Are Reminded of the Airbnb Tax

Taxpayers Will Be Hit With a New Tax This Summer, Passed Without Roll Call Vote

Boston – Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance (MassFiscal) released the following statement today on April 15, Tax Day. As thousands of individuals across the Commonwealth are forced to cut checks to the government, it’s important to be mindful of tax hikes that may still be coming down the pipeline from our legislative leaders in the months to come.
The Governor’s budget was proposed in February, and it included a sprinkling of new and higher taxes including a new tax on opioids as well as applying the cigarette tax to vaping products. The Governor proposed increasing the real estate excise tax (stamp tax), and MassFiscal advocacy to communicate with thousands of constituents across the state to successfully stop it. While these seemed like low hanging fruit for the House to include in their budget, they decided to play coy. Speaker Bob DeLeo stated that“further action” wouldn’t be taken on taxes until later in the year.

Those who pay attention to the Massachusetts state budget process know what “later” means, though. In Massachusetts, later means when the populace is tuned out. In the past, later has meant the last day of session in July, on a Saturday night, as residents escaped the sweltering heat of the city to the beach. In the past, later has meant the last informal session before a long holiday weekend. Later is always when the least amount of scrutiny will be leveled on them.
“Today is a day when many across the state pay their annual taxes but it should also serve as a reminder for taxpayers to wake up to what’s happening at the statehouse,” stated Paul D. Craney, spokesperson of MassFiscal.
Passing major tax hikes in secrecy shouldn’t seem too implausible, as it’s exactly what happened when they pushed through the tax on short-term rentals like Airbnb last December. Only a few days before Christmas, legislative leaders passed this new tax without a vote. It could have been stopped if only one lawmaker objected. Despite Airbnb's protest, it passed.
“This was started in the House and eventually found its way to the Governor’s desk. It must never happen again. Even if you support higher taxes, these debates must be done in the public and with recorded votes. To say we were disappointed by our leaders is an understatement,” continued Craney.
The Airbnb tax will hit taxpayers this summer.
Those who want more fiscal responsibility do have another day to look forward to this month. Tax Freedom Day for Massachusetts falls on April 23rd this year. This is the day in which Massachusetts residents have earned enough to pay off their total tax bill for the year. Your compensation for all work done since January essentially goes right into the pockets of the tax collectors until April 23. This date puts Massachusetts at #43 in the country. Even California is better ranked. Only Connecticut and Rhode Island are worse than Massachusetts in New England.
“While we view that as atrociously low, Beacon Hill leadership likely see it as giving them some ‘wiggle-room’ for new ‘revenue enhancements.’ If they feel that way, their debate must be done in the public and with recorded votes,” concluded Craney.

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