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Hotel Crony Capitalists Take Aim at Average Marylanders

Thursday, February 23, 2017 21:04
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I make it a general rule to avoid Maryland if possible. Aside from maybe the odd Navy football game. These taxes will only add to my general inclination to skip over the state.

Hotels and some rentals pay the state’s 6 percent sales tax, plus hotel taxes, which vary by location between 3 percent and 9.5 percent. Short-term rentals don’t uniformly pay those taxes.

“It equalizes everything,” said the bill’s sponsor, Democratic Sen. Joan Carter Conway of Baltimore, who made her case before the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday. “Everybody else has to pay the tax.”

The travel websites and property owners who use them are pushing back, saying that the taxes and regulations would push them out of business.

This is your typically standard case of little guys having to fight back against the big guys. But this issue realistically affects every individual Maryland property owner and how you can utilize your property…

…The issue at hand, a Joan Carter Conway claims, is to “equalize everything.” The true way to “equalize everything” would be to lower the tax burden on both hotel companies and on individuals who rent their property. That would truly level the playing field, would reduce the cost of lodging across the state, and make Maryland a more attractive place for tourists, conventions, and events. Since this is a Democratic bill, it of course doesn’t do that. It would apply the existing onerous taxes on rental properties as well. But that’s not all. The bill would seem to not only apply to the taxes that are being collected by these properties, but also would require onerous paperwork requirements on behalf of the property owners as well as the websites that are listing the properties on behalf of the owners.

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