Legislation that would relieve the consequences of taxes on short-term rentals imposed by Governor Phil Murphy last year continues to sit on his desk.

Ocean County Republican Senator Jim Holzapfel and Republican Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and Dave Wolfe are ramping up a push for the governor to enact the bill that passed unanimously in the senate and assembly.

“The legislature has done our job to rework portions of the tax that are unfair to Shore homeowners,” Holzapfel said. “The governor’s inaction is troubling and irresponsible. While he vacations at his villa in Italy, rentals are going unoccupied and business is feeling the impact. We need this bill signed now.”

The measure (S-3158/A-4814) was passed unanimously by the Senate and Assembly and has been parked on the governor’s desk since June 27.

It exempts homeowners who rent directly to vacationers from last year’s Airbnb tax which extended the 6.625 percent sales tax and the 5 percent hotel and motel occupancy fee to private rentals of less than 90 days.

“We were worried about what this tax would do to the Shore communities, and the reality is as bad as we feared or worse,” McGuckin said. “Unheard of numbers of rental units are sitting vacant in prime vacation weeks, and owners are being forced to make deep discounts to fill openings. It’s not just homeowners who are feeling the pinch. The seasonal businesses that rely on the summer months to get them through the year are paying the price, too.”

Jersey Shore homeowners are having a difficult time finding renters and revenue is down by as much as 20 percent and a rise in vacancies for bookings, according to a report by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“There’s still a few weeks of the vacation season remaining,” Wolfe said. “Summer tourism is too important to New Jersey’s economy for the governor to continue to ignore this important piece of legislation. He needs to step up and sign the bill now.”

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