New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has signed a bill into law that imposes the same lodging taxes on short-term rentals that hotels and motels pay. As of October 1, 2018, a new law imposes Sales Tax, the State Occupancy Fee, and the Meadowlands Regional Hotel Use Assessment on charges associated with the rental of transient accommodations. The change means operators of short-term rentals that are booked through companies such as Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, or others are now required to add these taxes to guests’ bills and remit them to the state. Rentals that are for a period of 90 consecutive days (permanent resident exemption) are excluded from the tax.
“Transient accommodation” means a room, group of rooms, or other living or sleeping space for the lodging of occupants, including but not limited to residences or buildings used as residences. This definition includes rentals made through “transient space marketplaces” as well as rentals that are made directly by the homeowner through classified listing sites, local newspaper ads, referrals from friends/family, or placing a sign on the home, etc.
However, it does not include:
1) a hotel or hotel room;
2) a room, group of rooms, or other living or sleeping space used as a place of assembly;
3) a dormitory or other similar residential facility of an elementary or secondary school or a college or university;
4) a hospital, nursing home, or other similar residential facility of a provider of services for the care, support and treatment of individuals that is licensed by the state;
5) a campsite, cabin, lean-to, or other similar residential facility of a campground or an adult or youth camp;
6) a furnished or unfurnished private residential property (i.e., condominiums, bungalows, single-family homes and similar living units) where no common hotel services are made available (i.e., maid, room, or linen changing services) and where the keys to the property, whether a physical key, access to a keyless lockingmechanism, or other means of physical ingress, are provided at the location of an offsite licensed real estate broker; or
7) leases of real property with a term of at least 90 consecutive days.
“Residence” means a house, condominium, or other residential dwelling unit in a building or structure that is designed, constructed, leased, rented, let or hired out, or otherwise made available for use as a residence.
Beginning October 1, short-term rentals will be subject to the state’s 6.625 percent sales tax and 5 percent hotel occupancy fee, although the occupancy fee is lower in cities that have their own municipal tax on accommodations. That includes Atlantic City, Jersey City, and Newark, where the state fee is 1 percent, and the Wildwoods, where it’s 3.15 percent.
Many municipalities in New Jersey also levy their own municipal occupancy taxes on hotels. The new law allows municipalities the option to impose new taxes and fees on short-term rentals, including: hotel occupancy fee, Atlantic City luxury tax, Atlantic City promotion fee, Cape May County tourism sales tax, Cape May County tourism assessment, sports and entertainment facility tax, and Meadowlands regional hotel use assessment.
Short-term rental operators must register with the state for tax purposes before they can start collecting lodging taxes from guests. All other New Jersey short-term rental hosts will be responsible for registering for a tax ID number, collecting all lodging taxes from guests, filing lodging tax returns, and remitting collected taxes.