KINGSTON, NY – A six-member bipartisan group of Ulster County lawmakers has been tasked with exploring the possibility of raising the county tax levied on those who stay in hotels, motels and other accommodations. short-term accommodation in the county.
Legislative Assembly Speaker Tracey Bartels appointed the committee, which is made up of four Democrats and two Republicans, in response to a proposal by Legislator Joseph Maloney to seek state approval to raise the tax. county occupancy, commonly referred to as the bed tax.
Maloney, D-Saugerties, introduced a resolution, known as the “Rule of Origin Request” that seeks permission from the state legislature to raise the tax to up to 6% for hotels, motels and bed and breakfast establishments and up to 10% for other short-term rentals, such as Airbnb rentals.
The county currently levies a 2% occupancy tax, which is lower than the rate charged by surrounding counties.
Reaction to the proposal among lawmakers on the Legislature’s Ways and Means Committee was mixed, with some, like Maloney, seeing a tax increase as an opportunity to generate additional revenue for the county without having to raise taxes. taxes from county residents, while others expressed concern about the need for the increase and the impact it could have on businesses still struggling to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19.
Bartels said she expects the task force to meet with lodging industry stakeholders as they debate whether to raise the county tax and, if so, of how much.
She said while there is no deadline for the task force to complete its work, there is a “sense of urgency” if the legislature hopes the request will be considered in the current legislative session of the state that ends June 2.
Appointed to the Task Force: Megan Sperry, D-Esopus; Herbert Litts, R-Lloyd; Eve Walter, D-New Paltz; Abe Uchitelle, D-Kingston, Minority Leader Ken Ronk, R-Wallkill and Maloney.