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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 1: Definitions

[ Text of section effective as provided by 2018, 337, Sec. 15A as added by 2019, 5, Sec. 37. See 2019, 5, Sec. 46.]

  Section 1. As used in this chapter, the following words shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

  "Bed and breakfast establishment'', a private owner-occupied house where not less than 4 rooms are let, a breakfast is included in the rent and all accommodations are reserved in advance.

  "Bed and breakfast home", a private owner-occupied house where not more than 3 rooms are let, a breakfast is included in the rent and all accommodations are reserved in advance.

  "Commissioner'', the commissioner of revenue.

  "Hosting platform'', a service through a digital platform, third-party website, software, online-enabled application, mobile phone application or some other, similar electronic process that allows: (i) an operator to advertise, list or offer the use of an accommodation subject to the excise under this chapter in exchange for rent; (ii) an operator to collect the payment of rent on an accommodation; and (iii) a person to arrange, book, reserve or rent an accommodation.

  "Hotel'', a building used for the feeding and lodging of guests licensed or required to be licensed under section 6 of chapter 140.

  "Intermediary'', a person or entity, other than an operator, that facilitates the sale, use or possession of an occupancy and charges a room charge to the general public; provided, however, that the term "facilitates'' shall include a person or entity that brokers, coordinates or in any other way arranges for the purchase, sale, use or possession of occupancies by the general public; provided further, that the term "intermediary'' shall include a hosting platform and operator's agent.

  "Lodging house'', a house licensed or required to be licensed under section 23 of chapter 140 and where lodgings are rented to not less than 4 people who shall not be within the second degree of kindred to the owner or operator of such lodging house.

  "Motel'', a building or portion of a building in which a person is lodged for hire with or without meals and that is licensed or required to be licensed under section 32B of chapter 140; provided, however, that a "motel'' shall not include a hotel or lodging house.

  "Occupancy'', the use or possession or the right to the use or possession of a room in a bed and breakfast establishment, hotel, lodging house or motel designed and normally used for sleeping and living purposes for a period of not more than 90 consecutive calendar days, regardless of whether such use and possession is as a lessee, tenant, guest or licensee, or the use or possession or the right to the use or possession of a room in a short term rental normally used for sleeping and living purposes for a period of not more than 31 consecutive calendar days, regardless of whether such use and possession is as a lessee, tenant, guest or licensee; provided, however, that "occupancy'' shall include the right to the use or possession of the furnishings or the services and accommodations, including breakfast in a bed and breakfast establishment, accompanying the use and possession of such a room.

  "Occupant'', a person who uses, possesses or has a right to use or possess a room in a bed and breakfast establishment, hotel, lodging house, short-term rental or motel for rent under a lease, concession, permit, right of access, license or agreement.

  "Operator'', a person operating a bed and breakfast establishment, hotel, lodging house, short-term rental or motel in the commonwealth including, but not limited to, the owner or proprietor of such premises, the lessee, sublessee, mortgagee in possession, licensee or any other person otherwise operating such bed and breakfast establishment, hotel, lodging house, short-term rental or motel.

  "Operator's agent'', a person who on behalf of an operator of a bed and breakfast establishment, hotel, motel, short-term rental or lodging house: (i) manages the operation or upkeep of a property offered for rent; or (ii) books reservations at a property offered for rent; provided, however, that an "operator's agent'' shall include, but not be limited to, a property manager, property management company or real estate agent.

  "Person'', an individual, partnership, trust or association, with or without transferable shares, joint-stock company, corporation, society, club, organization, institution, estate, receiver, trustee, assignee or referee and any other person acting in a fiduciary or representative capacity, whether appointed by a court or otherwise, or any combination of individuals acting as a unit.

  "Professionally-managed unit'', 1 of 2 or more short-term rental units that are located in the same city or town, operated by the same operator and are not located within a single-family, two-family or three-family dwelling that includes the operator's primary residence.

[ Definition of "Rent'' as amended by 2018, 337, Sec. 6 as amended by 2019, 5, Sec. 32 effective March 28, 2019. See 2019, 5, Sec. 46.]

  "Rent'', the total consideration paid by or on behalf of an occupant, including any service, cleaning or other charge, to an operator or an intermediary collecting and remitting the excise on behalf of an operator under section 13 in exchange for occupancy, valued in money, whether received in money or otherwise, including all receipts, cash, credits and property or services of any kind or nature; provided, however, that "rent'' shall not include: (i) bona fide refundable security deposits; (ii) any amount paid by an occupant that is included in the taxable gross receipts of the operator under chapter 64H or 64I where the operator is a vendor for purposes of those chapters; or (iii) amounts paid by an occupant to an operator for services offered by the operator on similar terms to non-occupants in the regular course of the operator's business.

  "Short-term rental'', an owner-occupied, tenant-occupied or non-owner occupied property including, but not limited to, an apartment, house, cottage, condominium or a furnished accommodation that is not a hotel, motel, lodging house or bed and breakfast establishment, where: (i) at least 1 room or unit is rented to an occupant or sub-occupant; and (ii) all accommodations are reserved in advance; provided, however, that a private owner-occupied property shall be considered a single unit if leased or rented as such.