The Real Deal New York

Jersey City mayor wants to legalize Airbnb

Steven Fulop's proposal would tax listings at 6 percent hospitality rate

October 12, 2015 10:37AM

Brian Cheskey Steven Fulop

From left: Steven Fulop and Brian Cheskey

Travelers who dream of staying in Jersey City: rejoice!

The city’s mayor, Steven Fulop, will offer legislation to legalize and tax web-based short term rental services like Airbnb and Homeaway.

Fulop is proposing a levy of 6 percent on the Jersey City’s 300 short term rentals, a rate equal to the city’s hospitality tax. His proposal anticipates the tax will raise between $600,000 and $1 million dollars a year.

The law is expected to be approved by November, the New York Times reported.

“Maybe it’s my age, or my friends who love Airbnb, but it’s certainly not going away,” the 38-year-old mayor said in an interview. “You can either try and fight it and resist change, which I’m not sure is going to work, or you can try and figure it out and work together.”

Jersey City would follow cities like San Francisco and Philadelphia in legalizing and taxing short term rentals.

New York, on the other hand, is among the service’s tougher regulators, forbidding all Airbnb all rentals of 30 days or less unless the owner is present and the renter has access to the entire premises.

“Since when does New York City look across the Hudson for a policy blueprint?” Assembly member Linda Rosenthal, a Democrat from Manhattan, said in a statement. “Whatever happens in Jersey City stays in Jersey City. With scarce affordable housing and unified opposition to illegal hotels here, this development will have zero impact on the law in New York.”

The Real Deal investigated landlords’ interest in services in its October issue. [NYT]Ariel Stulberg