Gopal Bill to Protect Shore Homeowners from Short-Term Rental Tax Signed Into Law

OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Last year, a new law extended New Jersey’s sales and occupancy tax to short-term rentals. A measure rolling that tax back for private homeowners who use classified ads and other traditional platforms to find renters - and especially those on the Jersey Shore - was signed into law this Friday. The measure was sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch) and Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling (D-Neptune) and Joann Downey (D-Freehold)

Last year’s tax, which established an 11.625 percent levy in most towns for short-term rentals lasting fewer than 90 days, was intended solely for transactions brokered by online property rental site AirBnB, rather than traditional week-long summer rentals. However, while the law specifically exempted rentals booked through licensed real estate brokers, it failed to exempt homeowners who rent out their property through informal means such as Craigslist, Facebook, or word-of-mouth.

"The summer rental business is a foundation of Monmouth County's economy," said Gopal (D-Long Branch). "As the 7th-largest employer in New Jersey, tourism has always been one of the Jersey Shore's flagship enterprises. At a time of year when business should be booming, local homeowners have been struggling to fill rental slots for summer visitors. A bad summer at the shore could have a damaging ripple effect across our State’s entire economy, which is why this reform works to protect our traditional rental markets from the harmful provisions of this new tax, ensuring a brighter future for summer rentals up and down the coast."