Gov. Phil Murphy said Thursday night he would sign a measure eliminating a controversial and unintended tax levied against the owners of shore homes who directly rent to summer tourists.
“The mom and pop who wants to rent out their place, we’ve concluded they shouldn’t be burdened by this,” Murphy said during his “Ask Governor Murphy” segment Thursday night on News 12.
The tax, a part of the 2019 budget, levied an 11.65 percent rate on any rental under 90 days — primarily crafted with AirBnBs in mind. But summer rentals, which typically last a week, were also hit.
Under Assembly Bill 4814, the tax would only be levied against rentals obtained mainly through online marketplaces, such as AirBnB. The definition was crafted in a way so that it would not include summer rentals, which are advertised via word of mouth or online, and unlike AirBnB do not deal with payments and reservations online.
Advocates of a measure to alleviate the impact on the summer rental industry argued the tax would have a ripple effect: fewer tourists would stay at the shore and those who did would have their vacation budget eaten up by the new expenses. Businesses and restaurants would, in turn, see less profit.
But Murphy remained skeptical that the tax has taken a bite out of seaside tourism revenue, up through last night, when he said there has been “overwhelming evidence that this might be the best summer” for Jersey Shore businesses.