|Leveling the playing field for accommodations in MD
At a hearing held on February 22, 2017, Senate Bill 463 was brought before the Senate Finance Committee. SB463 was introduced at MHLA’s request and creates a statewide framework intended to bring short-term residential lodging activity (Airbnb, HomeAway, etc) into compliance with state and local regulations.At the hearing, Senator Middleton indicated there will be a work group with stakeholders to address the issue of regulating short-term rentals in Maryland. MHLA representatives will be present at the work group, which is scheduled to meet this Friday, March 10.
Below, please find articles that discuss the current state of the short-term rentals issue in Maryland in regards to SB463.
State eyes legislation for Airbnb, similar sites
OC Today, February 23, 2017
Maryland hotels, online rentals spar over paying taxes
The Baltimore Sun, February 22, 2017
Airbnb Faces Scrutiny Over Secret Tax Deals with Cities
In a report published on Tuesday, a former Montana state tax official claims the Airbnb arrangements shield commercial hosts from audits and back tax obligations, while wrapping the deal terms in a web of secrecy. This report was underwritten by the American Hotel & Lodging Association, and further underscores the need for SB 463 and transparency in short-term rental activity. To date, Montgomery County is the only jurisdiction in Maryland that has signed a Voluntary Collection Agreement.
To read the full article in Fortune, click here.
MHLA Legislative Reports available online
MHLA’s Legislative Committee continues to meet weekly to review and discuss the Association’s position on Maryland General Assembly bill that could impact our industry. Go to www.MDLodging.org > Members > Legislative Reports to view the most recent tracking sheet. A member log-in is required. Contact Amy Rohrer, MHLA President & CEO, for more information on statewide or local issues we are tracking.
Baltimore City $15 Minimum Wage Bill
A public hearing on Baltimore City’s proposed $15 minimum wage bill took place on March 1. Amy Rohrer, MHLA President & CEO, was joined by two members of the Association, Khaled Said (Tanis Hospitality) and Brandon Rosenblatt (Commercial Laundry Corporation) who testified in opposition. Despite hearing concerns from numerous business organizations and non-profits, the Baltimore City Council Labor Committee voted to advance the bill and this past Monday the full Council voted 12-3 to give preliminary approval before it advances to the Mayor’s desk for signing.
If signed by Mayor Catherine Pugh, minimum wage will increase to $15 by 2022. The phase in period would be extended to 2026 for small businesses. The tip credit is preserved in the bill that is currently moving, so long as tipped employees make at or above the prevailing minimum wage.
Anne Arundel County nuisance bill aimed at hotels vetoed
Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh vetoed legislation Friday (March 3) that would have given the police chief power to close down businesses where there are repeated crime and nuisance complaints. (Read the full Capital Gazette article here.) An attempt by the County Council to override the veto this past Monday was unsuccessful.