As summer season begins, Murphy Democrats double-down on Jersey Shore rental tax

TRENTON, N.J. – Shore rentals are getting more expensive, and it’s not a simple matter of supply and demand. Trenton is playing a major role.

In July 2018, Governor Phil Murphy signed a measure passed by the Democrat-controlled state legislature assessing a 11.6% surcharge on rentals under 90 days. That covers the vast majority of Jersey Shore rentals not generated through a realtor, and there’s ample evidence that at least some tourists are responding by shortening their trips.

This Thursday, as Shore rental and business owners made final preparations for the coming onslaught, New Jersey’s Assembly voted to somewhat limit reach of the so-called Airbnb tax. Critics say it’s too little and too late. 

“In Monmouth County alone, tourism is a $2.5 billion dollar business employing more than 30,000 residents. In 2018, we had 8.6 million visitors,” said Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso who represents portions of Monmouth County. “Services such as Airbnb have the potential to draw more visitors to the Jersey Shore and the additional tax can only hurt our residents who took a risk and made an investment on rental property.”

DiMaso’s effort to exclude all Shore counties from the tax outright failed, 46-26.

A related effort to kill the tax altogether was shot down by a wide 44-28 margin.