The Rhode Island Association of Realtors is voicing concerns over part of the state budget. The group opposes expanding the definition of a hotel. The new definition would subject rental homes and small bed and breakfasts with at least one room for rent subject to the same taxes as hotels.
State officials expect to raise $5.4 million dollars in the next fiscal year with the proposed change.
Realtors fear the tax will adversely affect the state’s second-home market. Bruce Lane, President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors, said many people in the state own second homes, they often rent out to vacationers.
“You’re going to send the message that second-home ownership is becoming more and more difficult, and if you hurt the secondary market in Rhode Island, you’re hurting the housing market in Rhode Island,” said Lane.
Lane said people may be more inclined to bring their business to nearby Massachusetts or Connecticut, which he says do not institute the same tax.
Another portion of the budget would tax single room rentals. The move is aimed at websites that allow individuals to rent out rooms in their houses not subject to state oversight, like Air Bnb.
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