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News & Press: Lodging News

Short-term rental bill likely dead for session

Monday, April 11, 2016  
Posted by: Emily Owens
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Short-term rental bill likely dead for session
By Bob Sanders

A bill that would have required short-term rental web portals to include their rooms and meals tax identification on their sites appears to be quashed for this session, after a lobbyist for the vacation company HomeAway testified against it.

The Senate Ways and Means committee unanimously voted to send House Bill 1590 to interim study, despite supportive testimony from the NH Lodging and Restaurant Association, the NH Association of Realtors and the Department of Revenue Administration.

“I’m disappointed,” Ed Butler, D-Hart’s Location, sponsor of the bill and operator of a B&B, told NH Business Review after the hearing. “This was a compromise bill, a very minimalistic first step in trying to level the playing field, and this just kicks it down the road.”

Butler originally proposed that people who rent out apartments or parts of their home through companies like HomeAway and Airbnb register as a business with the Secretary of State and provide their listings to the state DRA. But the Realtors, whose members often act as rental agents for vacation properties, opposed the bill, and it was reworked as a requirement to place a rooms and meals tax ID on advertisements.

Mike Somers, president of the NHLRA, acknowledged that the ID requirement would be difficult to enforce, since the websites are administered by companies not based in the state, but he said voluntarily compliance would enable the DRA to contact those that did not have a tax ID number, helping auditors.

“We don’t know how many illegal bed and breakfasts and hotels are operating in the state,” Somers testified. “This will help us out. I have no issue with a sharing economy where someone rents out their room for one or two nights, but when you rent out four rooms of your house on a full-time basis you are running a hotel.” Read more from

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