The New Jersey Tourism Industry Association (NJTIA) was severely disappointed that Governor Christie vetoed legislation (A4587/S2574) relating to shared economy platforms such as AirBnB. The legislation would have brought fairness in taxation to the lodging sector of our industry.
NJTIA thanks the responsible State Legislature for passing these bills that would have required shared economy platforms for booking rooms to collect the same required taxes as hotel, motel, and bed and breakfast inns under the current tax and hotel and motel occupancy statute. The loss of revenue by the State is staggering, particularly in a time when New Jersey faces serious budget challenges.
NJTIA is not opposed to AirBnB, VRBO, etc. and in fact, the organization encourages innovation throughout the industry. Currently these shared economy platforms are operating without paying appropriate taxes. This creates an unfair advantage in relation to traditional options. NJTIA has always maintained a position of fairness in the industry concerning taxes on accommodations.
NJTIA believes that Governor Christie got this wrong. He vetoed the legislation because he viewed it as a new tax,. In fact A4587/S8574 would have only appropriately levied the long established hotel/motel occupancy tax – a tax that was instituted to fund on-going tourism promotion, arts and history in New Jersey.
NJTIA is hopeful that our next Governor will have a better understanding of the importance of the tourism industry in New Jersey.