Short-term Rental Legislation around the State
There has been a great deal of debate in the Maryland General Assembly on short-term rental legislation (SB 1081 / HB 1604) introduced on our behalf this year. Hearings in the House Economic Matters Committee (March 9) and Senate Finance Committee (March 20) went well and the bill is still moving on the Senate side. It has been amended to narrowly address sales tax collection by the platforms, and as such has been re-referred to the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee. A hearing in this Committee took place on April 3, and we are awaiting their decision on whether to move the bill or not.
In the meantime, Prince George’s County has introduced two pieces of legislation (CB-10-2018 and CB-11-2018) that together would establish short-term rental regulations and limit the activity to a primary residence capped at 90 days annually, among other provisions. We also anticipate a hearing on the Baltimore City short-term rental bill (18-0189) to soon be announced for late April or May. Stay Tuned!
Other Legislation of Interest:
Baltimore Convention Center and Tourism Improvement District:
The bill to extend the agreement between the State and Baltimore City to fund the Convention Center’s shortfall has passed the Senate and is expected to pass the House. Another piece of legislation introduced on behalf of the City of Baltimore would allow the City to set up a special “Tourism Improvement District”. Next steps for this legislation will require support from the majority of hotels in the designated district and passage of legislation by the Baltimore City Council. MHLA will be working closely with Baltimore City members to determine the Association’s position as the process moves forward.
Ocean City Convention Center: The bill to increase the funds for renovation of the convention center was heard, but there has been no vote on the bill.
Overtime Regulations: A bill that would have exempted employees making at least $900 a week from overtime regulations was killed in Committee.
Metro Funding: MHLA favored a bill that would increase funding for the Metro System. This bill passed the legislature.
The 2018 Legislative Session ends on April 9 at midnight.
2018 is an election year and as of the legislative filing deadline, 10 Senators and 29 Delegates will be leaving their seats (many of the Delegates are running either for the Senate or for other political seats in the State, i.e. Senator Madaleno is on the ballot for Governor, others for County Executive or U. S. House of Representatives).
Of particular note, Senator Ed Kasemeyer, who has been an outstanding Chairman of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee and Senator John Astle, Vice Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and great friend to Tourism, are both retiring after distinguished careers.
According to the Department of Legislative Services, the state Senate turnover in an election year has averaged about 21% and the House turnover has ranged from 21 % to 41%. In 2014, 12 delegates ran for Senate and 7 were elected. This year, 11 delegates are running for Senate.
MHLA NEWS & EVENTS
February 2018 STR Report
Smith Travel Research data for Maryland shows occupancy is up slightly, ADR has increased 2.3%, and RevPAR is up 3.5% YTD through February 2018 compared to the same period last year. Maryland data is provided monthly to MHLA by Smith Travel Research. Members may view the full report online. Go to https://mdlodging.org/members/ and select “Industry Statistics and Research.” (Member log-in required.)
Annual Meeting – May 10 at Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore
This annual Signature Event will take place from 1:00 – 4:30pm on May 10th at the Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore. We are pleased to announce our Guest Speaker, Michael Jacobson from U.S. Travel Association.
Exhibitor spaces are limited and online registration will open soon. Click here for more details and to view the registration form. Please contact Christine Abe at (410) 974-4472 / Christine@MDLodging.org with any questions.
Last Call for 2018 Scholarship Opportunities, Deadline April 10
The Maryland Hotel Lodging Association is now accepting applications for multiple $1,500 scholarships to be awarded through the Maryland Tourism Education Foundation again this year. The deadline to apply for the 2018 MHLA Scholarship is April 10, 2018. The application can be found on our website or by clicking here. Winners will be announced at our Annual Meeting.
Save the Date – Annual Golf Outing
Mark your calendars for the Annual MHLA Golf Outing on Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at Whiskey Creek Golf Club in Ijamsville, Maryland!
Welcome to New General Managers at Member Properties
- Ashley Cluster – Chesapeake Beach Resort & Spa
- Logan Gaskill – MGM National Harbor
- Adrian Hughes – Holiday Inn Columbia East-Jessup
- Karen Inferrere – Residence Inn Baltimore Owings Mills (new member property)
INDUSTRY NEWS & INFORMATION
Janitorial services at hotels ARE taxable
We have been made aware of at least one Maryland hotel being hit with significant back taxes on janitorial services, despite the hotel having used a 3rd party for the service. Members should note: Sales of services in Maryland are not subject to tax unless specifically designated as taxable. Janitorial services are specifically designated as taxable when provided to commercial or industrial buildings and are not taxable when provided to residences. If you are using a third party to provide janitorial services at your hotel, we recommend inquiring into their policy regarding this topic to ensure the tax is being remitted.
Texas real estate firm buys The Westin Annapolis Hotel
Source: Capital Gazette
A Texas company announced the purchase of The Westin Annapolis hotel. Crescent Real Estate LLC, a Fort Worth-based real estate investment fund, purchased The Westin using its invitation-only GP Invitation Fund I. The company owns $1.65 billion in assets in the form of hotels, office buildings and other developments across seven states. READ MORE