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11.6 Percent Tax on Short-Term Rentals Creating Summer Tourism Concerns
"The Jersey Shore, a storied summer vacation spot, has become the newest national battleground over regulating and taxing the internet economy," according to an article by Nick Corasaniti.
"New Jersey is one of the first big states to adopt a surcharge on short-term rentals — a so-called Airbnb tax. It kicked in Oct. 1 and is causing vacationers to rethink their summer travels and stirring anxiety among the homeowners who rely on them," reports Corasaniti.
Corasaniti places the controversy in New Jersey in context of other states who have adopted similar taxes on short-term rentals, like Massachusetts and Colorado, as well as the other signifiers of the "sharing" or "gig" economy enabled by contemporary mobile internet technology, like Uber. States are, according to Corasaniti, "struggling to ensure that newer e-commerce companies abide by the same rules that apply to more established businesses."
Meanwhile, back in New Jersey, some homeowners are saying that tourist season is likely to be slower this year because of the tax. "Homeowners complain they are having a hard time filling properties when they should be well on their way to being fully booked for summer. And businesses that rely on free-spending summer visitors fear that the rental tax threatens their most important time of year."