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New rental tax worries some shore renters, homeowners

New Jersey - The 11.625 percent tax — higher in some towns that have their own fees — went into effect late last year, a group of property owners, some from Pennsylvania and New York, have taken their concerns to lawmakers.

TRENTON — A new tax in New Jersey on short-term lodging such as Airbnb rentals is rattling some property owners and renters who worry that it could deal a blow to the state’s multi-billion dollar shore tourism industry by pushing people to consider other destinations.

Gov. Phil Murphy proposed extending the state’s sales and occupancy tax to transient accommodations like Airbnb and VRBO rentals during last year’s budget process, and it flew largely under the radar as Murphy and the Democrat-led Legislature scrapped over bigger taxes such as income taxes and corporate business rates.

But since the 11.625 percent tax — higher in some towns that have their own fees — went into effect late last year, a group of property owners, some from Pennsylvania and New York, have taken their concerns to lawmakers.

The issue is rising to the surface now in particular because many shore rentals are locked up in January. The new tax law requires property owners who let out their homes, including vacation properties along the state’s roughly 130-mile coastline, to collect the tax from short-term renters. In many cases, this is affecting owners and renters who have long-standing arrangements, or who rent by word of mouth or via informal social media posts.

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