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January 11, 2013

Bed-tax idea draws fire

Franklin County lawmakers get an earful from hotel, motel owners

(Continued)

Saranac Lake Democrat Timothy Burpoe disagreed, saying it does not create an economic disadvantage.

“People aren’t going to be looking at that when they go to stay at the Hotel Saranac,” he said. “We don’t have the money to market Franklin County, and this is the first stop in order to be competitive with Clinton County, Essex County and St. Lawrence County.”

To administer the bed tax, the County Treasurer’s Office will create a how-to-comply handbook for lodging owners, collect the money and enforce the law while a seven-member Tourism Advisory Committee recommend to the County Legislature on how best to spend the money.

At first, the county’s annual $176,000 tourism budget would fund the program until bed tax started coming in.

When the annual collection reaches $350,000, the county’s contribution will gradually taper off until the bed-tax income reaches $526,000 a year.

Legislators said they expect to take in $350,000 to $375,000 a year in bed tax, using annual sales-tax figures as a model.

Email Denise A. Raymo:

draymo@Pressrepublican.com

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