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The Nantucket Life

Blog :: 01-2019

The Year in Review

For those of you who think of January as the “off season” on Nantucket, I’m here to point out the reasons why you would be wrong.  I think while everyone is singing Fa la la around the Christmas tree or dreidel dreidel in the glow of the Menorah with their family and friends over the holiday season, fond memories of summers past on good ole’ ACK emerge, and the planning of another summer vacation begins.  On the day after Christmas there is a major influx of folks ready to book their Nantucket Vacation.  And then, Wham, the Governor of Massachusetts threw us for a loop and passed a short- term rental tax with 4 days left in 2018 to spare leaving brokers and tenants in a frenzy to get leases executed prior to the January 1st deadline.  And then the steamship authority opened for Car Ferry Reservations and the rental tsunami began.    Long Story short, January is Busy…and the Real Estate market on Nantucket is alive and kicking.  Here is a snapshot of the 2018 Real Estate Sales Market.  Some of the Charts are taken from our Listing Service LINK.  If you would like to be enrolled into Nantucket’s MLS, or have any further questions about Nantucket’s Real Estate Market or the impending Rental Tax, please contact us.

Massachusetts Short-term Rental Tax

Governor Baker signed into law a bill regulating and taxing short-term rentals.  The details we have collected so far are as follows:

The tax is to be paid by the tenant.

State Tax: 5.7% 

Local Tax:  6% on Nantucket

Cape Cod & Islands Water Protection Fund: 2.75%
Community impact tax: 3%
*The Town of Nantucket has yet to vote on these specific taxes.   

For stays starting July 1, 2019 that are booked January 1, 2019 or later. If a lease was signed prior to January 1st, no tax is due.

For any stays of 31 days or less.

Each rental unit will need to be listed with the state short-term rental registry.

The law requires whoever collects payment for the rental to collect the tax and remit it to the Commonwealth. The Department of Revenue will issue regulations to clarify how often the tax should be remitted to the Department.

Every home owner that rents out their property must carry not less than $1 million of liability coverage for each stay unless the hosting platform provides equal or greater coverage. Coverage shall defend and indemnify the operator and any tenants or owners in the building for bodily injury and property damage arising from the short-term rental. However, if the hosting platform (the real estate brokerage, HomeAway, Airbnb, etc.) can elect to provide the coverage for their properties on behalf of the owner.

The tax imposed by the new law does not apply to properties rented for fewer than fourteen (14) days per calendar year. It is important to note that these properties are still subject to the other requirements of the law, such as insurance and registration and these properties must file a notice with the Department of Regulation saying they will only rent for less than 14 days and will be responsible for paying the taxes themselves if rented for more than 14 days and did not collect it for the first 14 days.

Cities and towns may implement a health and safety inspection requirement and set the frequency of inspections. Short-term rental operators are required to cover the cost of inspections and will likely face a fee to cover registration costs as well.

New Short Term Rental Documents:

Insurance Disclosure to Homeowners

14-Day Exemption Form

We will continue to keep you updated as we receive more information.