SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The Springfield Cty Council met tonight to discuss implementing new regulations on short-term rentals, on platforms like Airbnb.
Earlier we heard from City Councilor Jesse Lederman, who's one of the six sponsors of this legislation, but tonight, we spoke to the people these regulations would affect, short-term rental hosts, to find out whether or not they’re afraid this may hurt their business.
“We’ve been doing great. We moved into our house in 2018 and within a month, we had our first guest and it’s been awesome ever since," Springfield resident Hector Cruz tells us.
Hector says his Airbnb experience at his Forest Park home has been successful, but he had some fears when he heard the city would begin working on their own regulation, specifically...
“We’re going to get taxed. That kind of shies away some of our guests, because they say that in what they’re paying," continued Cruz.
The proposed tax right now, which would be paid by customers, is a local 6% tax, as well as a community impact fee of 3% as allowed by state law.
Hector and Elder Gonzalez, also an Airbnb host, tell Western Mass News that they’re supportive of the ordinance currently being proposed.
However, when it came to taxes, they want to make sure that guests will be taxed just as much in neighboring communities, considering the competitiveness of the market.
“A lot of young professionals, a lot of people traveling in the area. Springfield is really strategic on the map. If you’re coming from up north or even if you’re coming from New York, it really is central," says Elder.
At the end of the day, they recognize that these kind of regulations are necessary.
“It seems to be pretty much in favor of the host and protecting the host and the community and the neighborhood, which is important," added Hector.
Councilor Lederman is hoping to take the proposal to the full council with some adjustments on things like parking requirements, fire safety, and the cap on the number of people versus rooms.
That vote, they hope, will happen at their February 3 meeting.