Jersey Shore tourism industry braces for Phil Murphy’s new rental tax

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. — You may’ve missed it last year, Save Jerseyans, but Governor Phil Murphy and the Democrat legislature slapped a new rental tax on the Jersey Shore, a major a linchpin of the state economy at a time when there’s every sign that the state economy is weakening.

What happened? Amid the fight over higher business tax and sales taxes, Trenton adopted a new tax law that requires shore house owners to assess a 11.625% rental tax on a short-term rentals. Owners are up in arms.

They’re concerned the tax could take a bit out of the Jersey Shore as renters begin to lock in their shore vacations. Memorial Day Weekend is  only four months away.

Their legislators agree.

“You shouldn’t have to be a millionaire like Governor Murphy to vacation down the shore,” said state Senator Senator Jim Holzapfel (R-10). “To charge a family that already stretch to pay thousands for a summer vacation an extra ten to fourteen percent in rental taxes is ridiculous. We’re already hearing that potential customers are responding to the new tax by booking at a much slower pace, which is concerning to the many tourism-driven businesses that make the bulk of their income during the summer months.”

New Jersey’s tourism economy is a $43 billion industry that’s epicenter sits along the state’s famous 130-mile coastline, one which attracts millions from all over the country (and the world) every summer.

It’s worth noting that although a Monmouth County resident himself, Governor Murphy (a Democrat) lost three of the four Jersey Shore counties (Cape May, Monmouth and Ocean counties) in 2017. The coast remains strongly Republican, perhaps making the state’s social justice warrior governor less disposed to care if Shore homeowners take a hit this summer.