Press-Republican

Local News

November 30, 2012

Essex County bed-tax hike advances

ELIZABETHTOWN — Essex County lawmakers now want to double the proposed increase in the county’s occupancy tax.

What started last week as a preliminary request to the State Legislature for a 1 percent hike in the county’s present 3 percent bed tax is now up to 2 percent.

That would make the Essex County lodging tax 5 percent, the same amount Franklin County is trying to set to establish a bed tax.

Clinton County already has a 3 percent occupancy tax.

DEDICATED FUND

The County Board of Supervisors Ways and Means Committee passed the 2 percent increase request this week, 15-2, with Supervisors Roby Politi (R-North Elba) and Edward Hatch (D-Willsboro) opposed. Supervisor Joyce Morency (R-St. Armand) was absent.

Supervisor Randy Preston (I-Wilmington) said he wanted to amend the resolution asking for an increase to double the request.

“That would give us a total of 5 percent for an occupancy tax. Some businesses may not think it’s a good idea. I’d like to see this go into a dedicated fund (for tourism).”

Essex County’s 3 percent bed tax makes about $1.5 million a year, but 95 percent of that is encumbered to the Lake Placid-Essex County Visitors Bureau, now called Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism. The county gets the other 5 percent for administration.

All of the increase, expected to generate $1 million to $1.2 million annually, would go into county coffers for distribution to tourism-related enterprises, Preston said.

“It (the new tax money) would specifically be dedicated to tourism,” he said. “It would not go into the general fund.”

FISH HATCHERY

The additional bed-tax funds would be used in four ways, Preston said.

“Twenty-five percent is for the (County) Fish Hatchery. It generates tourism. This would pay for it.”

The fish stocked by the Crown Point-based hatchery bring thousands of anglers to the county every year for sport tourism, according to a study.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

North Country Scenes


Click on photo to view gallery with latest photos

FYI...
  • treadmill-very-fast.jpg Tax deduction for a gym membership?

    April marks another tax season when millions of Americans will deduct expenses related to home ownership, children and education from their annual tax bill. These deductions exist because of their perceived value to society; they encourage behaviors that keep the wheels of the economy turning. So why shouldn't the tax code be revised to reward preventive health?

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo