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April 12, 2013

Tupper Lake owners oppose bed tax

(Continued)

TUPPER LAKE —

Chojnowski has a bait-and-tackle shop and boat rentals at his property, which would not fall under occupancy-tax requirements but could get confusing to report, he said.

“You ask us to provide the paperwork and send it to Malone, but what if (the County Treasurer’s Office) doesn’t like the numbers? I can go to jail for a year if the numbers don’t add up.”

‘PRETTY EMPTY’

Donna Maliszewski of Sunset Park Motel said Franklin County has fewer motels than the Village of Lake Placid and that Saranac Lake gets the overflow, which means good business for those few hotels and motels there.

“We don’t see that,” she said. “We’re never busy year round, and our summer months are pretty empty. I don’t see how you’re going to make money. We don’t have much to offer, and half of the motels are up for sale, and there are no bites on them.

“This tax you’re trying is ridiculous,” she said. “We barely make ends meet now. I have to lower my prices to keep people.

“When we collect the taxes for the state, we get a percentage back. But we get nothing from you,” she told legislators.

She said Tupper Lake also gets no attention for its existing tourism issues, such as having an available groomer to prepare trails for snowmobilers to use to get to their businesses in winter.

“What you’re offering is nonsense,” Maliszewski said of the bed-tax proposal. “You don’t benefit, and we lose.”

PANEL SETUP

Robin Doolen of Shaheen’s Motel wanted to know how the staggered terms of service would be decided for the nine-member Tourism Advisory Council that would rule how the bed-tax revenue is spent.

She said she was told names of the nominees would be drawn from a hat, with the first three people serving three years, the next three for two years and the final three for one year.

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