The Judiciary and Legislative Investigations Committee of the Baltimore City Council has chosen not to vote on a bill that would have placed a 9.5% “hotel tax” on short-term rentals of 90 days or less, under which the city’s hotels and bed and breakfasts are already covered.
Councilwoman and committee vice chair Mary Pat Clarke noted that the bill did not detail how the tax would be collected, or how it would be tracked or regulated. In addition, given the committee’s lack of knowledge about the short-term rental field, they did not know if they would be hurting small business owners.
"If someone wants to do the work on it and negotiate it and the owners and the hotels and the finance department put something together — when we know better what we’re talking about — then it’ll come back to life," Clarke said.Baltimore’s Bureau of the Budget and Management Research has estimated that Baltimore’s visitors spent $3 million on short-term rentals, which would have created $300,000 in tax revenue if the bill were passed. A similar tax already exists in Montgomery County, Maryland.