Letter to the Editor

March 3, 2017

New options for consumers

To the Editor,

The sharing economy is changing the way the world does business, delivering new options for consumers and extra income for service providers like those who occasionally rent out space in their home on a short-term basis. That’s a good thing. But as these new technologies continue to change the way we do business and procure goods and services, it remains incumbent on our elected representatives to make sure that regulations keep pace with this evolution.

As new technology emerges, reasonable regulations designed to protect public safety, and ensure equal access and fair taxation must be updated.  The Massachusetts Lodging Association offers our gratitude to Governor Charlie Baker, Representative Aaron Michlewitz and Boston City Councilor Sal LaMattina for being leaders in this conversation, and we look forward to working with the legislature and local communities in their effort to protect these important public interests.

Our organization represents hotels, motels, resorts, inns and bed and breakfasts comprising more than 80,000 rooms across the Commonwealth while contributing more than $20 billion to our state’s economy, collecting more than $800 million in state and local taxes and employing more than 135,000 at our properties.  Our operators understand the industry’s role in protecting the safety of our guests, respecting the rules of the communities in which we operate, and ensuring our properties are welcoming places for all who wish to visit.

Short-term rental services offer yet another welcome option to the mix of consumer choices. With appropriate and reasonable taxation and regulation, platforms like Airbnb can continue to thrive in Massachusetts while contributing their fair share and offering the same important protections traditional lodging businesses offer our customers.

Paul Sacco

President and CEO

Massachusetts Lodging Association

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