Legislative Update from State Representative Aaron Michlewitz

State Representative Aaron Michlewitz

State Representative Aaron Michlewitz (D-North End) visited the neighborhood groups during their April meetings to update constituents on his legislative priorities, as well as other local efforts.

Rep. Michlewitz paid tribute to District 1 City Councilor Sal LaMattina for his service to the North End. The councilor has decided not to run for reelection in the September municipal election. “I am very proud of the work that Sal and I did together,” said Michlewitz.

On a personal note, the Rep. announced that his #1 priority this year is to tie the knot with his fiancée and fellow North Ender, Maria Puopolo.

Turning to the legislative front, the most high profile bill on Rep. Michlewitz’s plate is the regulation of short-term residential rentals, such as AirBnb, HomeAway and VRBO. He has sponsored a version that requires hosts to register, pay taxes and segregates them into three categories. “There is no one-size-fits-all solution to short-term rentals,” said Michlewitz. By establishing a tiered registry, neighbors would be able to see what type of short-term rentals are in their building or on their street.

In Michlewitz’s bill, residential hosts are classified as those renting out their primary home for less than 60 days a year. Commercial hosts are those who rent out non-primary units and/or for more than 60 days a year. Commercial hosts would pay a higher tax rate than residential hosts. A third category for professional hosts applies to those such as corporate rentals with management companies. A 5 night minimum would apply to the last category. Under the bill, all short-term rentals would be required to obtain $1 million minimum liability insurance and be up to code on fire and inspectional codes. Governor Baker has proposed a competing bill that limits taxes on short-term rentals without significant regulatory requirements. Negotiations are expected this year to reconcile bills in the State House and Senate.

Other bills sponsored by Rep. Michlewitz includes protecting workers from wage theft by their employers and contractors. In addition, Michlewitz has re-filed legislation for gun control measures, discharging level 3 sex offenders from homeless shelters and increasing fines for traffic and license violations.

A rundown of the major legislative proposals sponsored by Rep. Michlewitz is shown below.