Sherry Geoghegan is a Jersey City homeowner and Airbnb host who is in fear of losing her home should she be prevented from operating a short term rental, or so she states in the emotive blurb pictured above.
Aiding Airbnb’s attack on our community, Sherry has so far featured in two mailers, one commercial and most recently penned a letter to the Jersey Journal.
Here’s an excerpt –
Keeping an apartment free as a party/crash pad hardly seems like a prudent course of action for somebody so close to losing their house, but then neither does taking out a $100,000 home equity loan, as Sherry did almost exactly a year ago.
The tale of imminent penury is clearly false.
Here’s an excerpt from a separate mailer-
Again she repeats her claim that she may have to sell her home, now with an additional motive, she needs the money to “offset the tax increases”.
Indeed, taxes were a subject that Sherry’s commercial put firmly front and center.
The 25 year gap between assessments saw downtown areas gentrify and property prices go through the roof, the lack of reassessment meant these properties were paying comparatively low taxes based on 1988 prices instead of current values. Those in less well off neighborhoods who had not seen the same increase in property values were therefore burdened disproportionately.
The revaluation was a correction, wealthy downtown owners saw increases while people in other areas of Jersey City saw their taxes decrease.
People like Sherry Geoghegan who saw her property taxes drop 14% from $10,670 to $9,032 over 2017-18.
There was no tax increase for Sherry to offset.
While the above two points are important, they almost seems trivial when I point out the overarching insanity of Sherry’s collaboration with the Airbnb campaign. She states twice, once in each mailer, that the ordinance will cap the number of days she can operate as a homeowner.
Twice in Jersey Journal Sherry refers to the “apartment downstairs”, indicating she lives on the property.
The 60 day limit only applies to homeowners who do not live on the premises. Sherry’s ability to run the second apartment in her house as an STR will be completely unaffected by the new law.
As I’ve mentioned before, Airbnb uses the handful of smalltime hosts as a smokescreen for the big guys. Non-residents, investors, multi-unit owners and other fat cats are good for Airbnb’s fortunes, but tales of Hamptons heating bills won’t be winning any votes at the ballot box.
The problem with Sherry Geoghegan isn’t that she lied about her financial situation, her taxes increasing and the effect the regulations would have on her, it’s that Airbnb are so severely limited in who they can put forward as a sympathetic character they had to induce her to lie to further their goal – the overriding of our democratic process in order to profit from our city unfettered.