For the past 10 years, Brad Redding, 36, and 13 of his family members have rented a six-bedroom house on Long Beach Island during the second week in June, so the entire family could be together at least one week annually.

Because of the additional cost the family would have to pay due to a new state tax, the family will not stay in LBI next year, he said.

Redding, who lives outside Philadelphia, represents the worst-case scenario for individual homeowners who rent out their properties along the Jersey Shore. And the potential for others to react like the Reddings has led some homeowners to band together to create and support the NJ Shore Rentals Coalition.

The coalition, which has 501(c)(6) New Jersey nonprofit corporation status, has hired public policy advocacy group Pizzutillo Public Affairs LLC to lead efforts with lawmakers in Trenton.

Earlier this year, the Legislature passed a series of state and local taxes that can range from 12 percent to 14 percent on top of what people already paid to rent a Jersey Shore home for a vacation.

The transient accommodations taxes apply to bookings made through either online travel companies such as Airbnb and VRBO — vacation rental by owner — or directly with individual homeowners.

The law was passed to ostensibly level the playing field between hotels and Airbnb rentals, but individuals, who rented their homes out at the Shore to vacationers, were included in apply the taxes.

The taxes do not apply if the booking is made through a licensed real estate professional.

One state legislator the new coalition will not have to lobby is state Sen. and U.S. Rep.-elect Jeff Van Drew, D-Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic, who is the primary sponsor of a bill to exclude shore counties from the state and local taxes associated with the transient accommodations tax.

“It is certainly no good for business to have another tax. I didn’t vote for it on the floor,” said Van Drew, who will be sworn in to Congress on Jan. 3.

Van Drew said he will try to get his repeal bill voted on before he leaves the state Senate for Congress.

If that does not happen, Van Drew said, his fellow South Jersey legislators, who are bill co-sponsors in the state Assembly, Bob Andrzejczak and Bruce Land, both D-Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic, will take up the cause.

Timothy Feeney, 59, of Little Falls, Passaic County, has owned a home on Long Beach Island for the past 15 years that he has rented out to vacationers.

Feeney is one of the committee members and founders of the NJ Shore Rentals Coalition. He has made his repeat guests aware that this tax may be enforced, but it is not being charged or collected yet.

“Tourism is a big economic driver in the shore region, folks coming down to the shore and spending their money. So, it’s a delicate, delicate sensitive economy there. That’s why we are focusing on that area,” said Feeney, who added parts of the shore are still recovering from Hurricane Sandy and Atlantic City casino closings.

The tax repeal needs to happen, said Joanne Slater, who owns a unit for rent in Ocean City and is a supporter of the coalition.

Slater’s unit was fully booked last summer with 15 different families, she said. So far, only two families have re-booked for next summer.

Slater has increased her real estate rates online already. She also has a letter she is waiting until after the new year to send out to people who have stayed with her previously.

“They (renters) will book and pay more and have less money to spend locally,” said Slater, 50, of Gilbertsville, Pennsylvania.

Guests also will begin comparing the prices of a week at the shore versus a week in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, or the Caribbean, Slater said.

Besides hiring a lobbying group, the NJ Shore Rentals Coalition has started a GoFundMe campaign seeking to raise $32,000 to pay for legal, lobbying and advertising expenses.

As of Saturday, $7,745 had been raised over the course of a month to repeal what the group calls the New Jersey Shore Tax.

Staff Writer

Twenty years as a staff writer in the features department, specializing in entertainment and the arts at The Press of Atlantic City.

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