(Affordable and Year-round Housing Stabilization Fund)
To see if the Town will vote to dedicate, without further appropriation, into a special purpose Affordable and Year-Round Housing Stabilization Fund, created herein in accordance with M.G.L., Chapter 40, Section5B, which was accepted by the Town at the 2017 Annual Town Meeting, for the purpose of meeting affordable and year-round housing needs, two-thirds (2/3) of the local option rooms excise tax that the Town receives on the transfer of occupancy of a room in a bed and breakfast establishment, hotel, lodging house, short-term rental or motel, pursuant to its acceptance of M.G.L., Chapter 64G, Section 3A, as amended by Chapter 337 of the Acts of 2018; provided that said dedication shall take effect beginning in fiscal year 2022;
or take other action with regard thereto.
(Arthur I. Reade, Jr., et al)
FINANCE COMMITTEE MOTION: Moved not to adopt the Article.
FINANCE COMMITTEE COMMENT: This Article, while well intentioned, has a serious flaw: Stabilization Funds can only appropriate and disburse funds after a 2/3 vote of Town Meeting. This structure does not provide the necessary flexibility for the Affordable Housing Trust to negotiate, acquire and develop real estate projects. Additionally, redirecting short-term rental tax revenues would create unintended pressures on the Town’s Budget. The affordable housing funding that would be created by Articles 8, 10 and 24 will generate $15,400,000 for affordable housing from the Fiscal Year 2022 budget.
SELECT BOARD COMMENT: The Board supports the Finance Committee Motion and Comment. The impact of Articles 8, 10 and 24 has the effect of directing approximately one-third of short-term rental revenues to housing. The Board is open to further discussion and analysis regarding establishment of a Stabilization Fund in the future.
Quantum of vote required for passage of a positive motion is 2/3