Sunday, December 23, 2018

In the News: tax deal on short term rental units; House hires a HR director

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"With the clock ticking on the end of the two-year session, House and Senate leaders finalized a deal Thursday to tax and regulate short-term housing rentals through websites like Airbnb, reviving a bill that passed in July but was imperiled by concerns raised by Gov. Charlie Baker. 
The new version still would apply the 5.7 percent hotel and motel room tax to units rented on a short-term basis. Legislative leaders, however, agreed to a change proposed by Baker that would exempt homeowners who rent out their units for 14 or fewer days a year from having to collect the tax. 
The House and Senate also agreed to postpone an extra Boston Convention and Exhibition Center financing fee on short-term units rented in Boston, Cambridge, Worcester, Springfield, West Springfield and Chicopee for about 10 years, or until the bonds on the BCEC are paid. 
“We’re excited that we were able to accomplish this before the end of the year because there were a lot of twists and turns throughout the process, but we got it done,” said state Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, the co-chair of the Committee on Financial Services."

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AirBnB screen grab
AirBnB screen grab

"The Massachusetts House has hired a woman with experience running human relations for Raytheon Co. and Bright Horizons Family Solutions to serve as the House’s human resources director, a new position created as the branch works to update its policies dealing with harassment reporting and prevention. 
The House Committee on Rules announced on Thursday that it has appointed Katherine Palmer, who has most recently worked as a human resources consultant, to serve as the House’s chief of human resources for a two-year term. The committee said Palmer specializes in “employee relations, workforce planning, employment law and establishing governance and compliance practices.” 
In March, the House adopted a package of new rules -- recommended by the House counsel and a team of attorneys hired to study the House’s policies around workplace sexual harassment -- that included a new investigation process for harassment claims and new human resources employees, including a director of human resources."

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