One of the most disgusting pieces of protectionist legislation I’ve ever seen.
From the APP:
Visitors to the Shore who want to avoid paying a new occupancy tax have a loophole: Find a place to stay through a real estate agent.
Otherwise, guests who book rooms directly from owners through online sites such as Airbnb and VRBO are scheduled to begin paying a 5 percent tax on Oct. 1.
“Since 50 percent of bookings are direct by owner, it’s going to affect a large part of the Jersey Shore,” said Duane Watlington, owner of VRLBI.com, which has more than 800 listings on Long Beach Island.
The law signed by Gov. Phil Murphy will force owners who put their homes, or rooms, up for the short term to collect the state’s 6.625 sales tax and 5 percent occupancy tax. Municipalities also can collect taxes of up to 3 percent.
It’s a bid by government agencies to adjust to the digital age that is disrupting long-standing businesses.
“They’re acting like hotels, they should be paying the same tax,” said Marilou Halvorsen, president of the New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association, a trade group that represents hotel and motel owners.
The New Jersey Division of Taxation was still finalizing the rules late Friday to ensure the tax would be applied specifically to to online sites like Airbnb.
Still, the department said homeowners who rent their property directly to consumers by word of mouth still would have to collect the tax because federal rules prevent state and local governments from discriminating against electronic commerce.