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The Latest: Lawmakers OK bill to tax short-term rentals

July 30, 2018

BOSTON (AP) — The Latest on efforts by Massachusetts lawmakers to approve bills ahead of end of legislative session (all times local):

7:45 p.m.

Massachusetts lawmakers have given final approval to a bill that would tax and regulate short-term rentals including those offered by Airbnb and other online platforms.

The compromise bill that was announced over the weekend was approved Monday in the House and Senate.

It calls for extending the state’s current 5.7 percent hotel tax to most short-term rentals. Municipalities would have the option of tacking on an additional 6 percent lodging tax, and another 3 percent if an owner rents out two or more units in the same community.

The Legislature is racing against a midnight Tuesday deadline to act on major bills before the formal 2017-2018 session comes to an end.

Lawmakers also gave final approval Monday to a bill that would create an automatic voter registration system in Massachusetts.

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6 p.m.

Massachusetts lawmakers have given final approval to a bill that would automatically update the registration status of voters when they interact with the Registry of Motor Vehicles and MassHealth.

Unless residents specifically decline the opportunity to register, their names and addresses would be added to the list of voters in their city or town.

The bill, approved Monday, is now awaiting Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s signature.

If the bill becomes law, Democratic Secretary of State William Galvin said his office will be able to start automatically registering voters on January 1, 2020.

Lawmakers have also sent to Baker a bill that would authorize Massachusetts to borrow up to $2 billion to make the state more resilient to climate change, including funds to protect the state’s coastline against more frequent storms.

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11:21 a.m.

Massachusetts lawmakers are poised to approve a bill that would tax and regulate short-term rentals including those offered by Airbnb and other online platforms.

The compromise bill announced over the weekend by House and Senate negotiators faces votes in the House and Senate Monday.

It calls for extending the state’s current 5.7 percent hotel tax to most short-term rentals. Municipalities would have the option of tacking on an additional 6 percent lodging tax, and another 3 percent if an owner rents out two or more units in the same community.

The Legislature is racing against a midnight Tuesday deadline to act on major bills before the formal 2017-2018 session comes to an end.

The Senate on Monday unanimously approved a House-passed bill that would create an automatic voter registration system in Massachusetts.

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