LONG BEACH ISLAND, N.J. (WPVI) -- It's the height of the season when most people start booking their summer shore rentals, but people are being deterred by a new tax that some worry could deal a huge blow to New Jersey's multi-billion dollar tourism industry.
"We've already heard from many homeowners that their rentals are not as brisk," said homeowner Denise Payne.
Payne has been renting her historic home on Long Beach Island for years. But since the 11.265% tax - higher in some towns that have their own fees - went into effect, Payne said she, along with other rental property owners, are being seriously impacted.
"This can be an average anywhere from about $300 in additional costs for the tax for the week upwards of $1,500 or more, depending upon the cost of the rental," said Payne.
The tax is affecting owners who rent out their homes or vacation properties along New Jersey's 130-mile mile coastline, even those who have had longstanding arrangements.
"And that's why we've lost out on a number of rentals because we're supposed to collect this tax and it comes as a surprise to people, some people who have rented the same house down on the shore for years," said Payne.
Payne has banded together with other shore property owners to form the New Jersey Shore Rental Coalition trying to get the law changed.
"We have about 25 co-sponsors to the legislature that's in the Senate and the assembly, and so we're hoping and praying," she said.
So far the bill to exempt the state's shore counties from the tax remain in committees up in Trenton, but rental property owners are hoping this change will happen soon.
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New tax impacting New Jersey Shore rentals