Tuesday, May 04, 2010

New Taxes For Eastham Renters

At Town Meeting last night, the voters chose to add a new tax on rental homes and condos. The new 5% tax, set to start January 1st, 2011, will be imposed on rental landlords on the rent collected for the short-term (under 90 days) use of their rental property. In spite of objections from several townspeople that this new tax will put Eastham at a disadvantage to our neighbors, as well as the obvious poor planning as to who and how this tax will be collected, the voters chose to balance future budgets on the backs of the summer people.

The sad part of this story is that the folks most affected, the rental landlords and the tourists, had neither a say nor a vote. In my opinion, the amount of projected revenues was grossly overstated ($400K to $500K), the collection mechanism was under-thought, and the long-term effects were totally neglected.  The 'projections' showed 1100 rental properties, at $1000/wk, for 8 weeks per season. The 'plans' had no additional tax resources (ie employees) to collect and enforce these new taxes.  The unintended consequences will be that Eastham will be thought of as less friendly to the very folks who have made the town the ideal place to own and live.

Other subjects were discussed also. Go to the Cape Cod Times article for more information about last night's meeting.


John said...

This is totally short sighted. It is the absentee property taxes paid by those who summer and rent their homes that allow for Eastham to have such a low tax base and provide great schools and services. Pushing renters away for $440K is beyond stupid.

Andrew Mainardi said...

If this isn't taxation without represesnation, I don't know what is.