Jersey City’s referendum on short-term rentals was the second-most expensive ballot question in the state’s history, according to a report released by the state’s Election Law Enforcement Commission Tuesday.
The question, which would have imposed restrictions on home-sharing services like those provided by AirBnB wracked up a price tag of $5.5 million according to preliminary totals, only falling behind a 2016 ballot question on North Jersey Casinos that costed just over $26 million in 2019 dollars.
A 1976 referendum on Atlantic City casinos cost just over $6 million in 2019 dollars, but only $1.3 million in contemporary currency.
“When a local ballot election costs more than most previous statewide ballot questions, people notice,” ELEC director Brindle said.
With almost $4.3 million spent, Keep our Homes, a PAC run by AirBnB, spent the lion’s share of the money behind the ballot question.
New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council spent $1.2 million through three committees it runs.
Jersey City also hosted the most expensive Board of Education contests on record this year.
The $590,019 price tag ousted a 2014 Elizabeth education board race that costed $498,951 in 2019 dollars.