Chilmark voters may weigh in on increasing the town’s short-term rental tax from 4 to 6 per cent at the next annual town meeting.

At Tuesday's select board meeting, the housing committee proposed raising the lodging tax and committing the new funds to affordable housing. 

Oak Bluffs, West Tisbury, Tisbury and Aquinnah all have the rate set at 6 per cent, the highest allowed under the state statute allowing municipalities to put a tax on short-term rental properties. Edgartown and Chilmark both have the rate set at 4 per cent.

Allison Parry, the housing committee member who presented the proposal at the board meeting on July 25th, said the committee was asking for $200,000 of the tax – the projected revenue from increasing the tax – to be put toward the town’s affordable housing trust.

“I think we should have a public hearing to get input, then I think we should vote whether or not to put it before the voters,” said select board member Bill Rossi.

The board resolved to initiate that hearing process, but did not set specific dates at the meeting on Tuesday.