May 3, 2013

Franklin County OKs bed-tax law

MALONE — Franklin County adopted a 5 percent occupancy-tax law Thursday and will seek approval from the State Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to implement it.

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Legislator Paul Maroun (R-Tupper Lake) voted against the measure, saying it gives too much policing power to the county treasurer and adds an unfair reporting burden on the small mom-and-pop lodging owners.


In a related issue, during an executive session last week, Franklin County legislators appointed members to a Tourism Advisory Committee, which will recommend how existing tourism funds and future bed-tax money would be spent.

Appointees are:

▶ Lesley Lyon, owner of Sunday Pond Bed and Breakfast in Lake Clear and the county’s commissioner of Social Services, representing tourist home, inn, cottage, condominium, vacation-rental owners.

▶ Julian Hutton, manager of The Point in Upper Saranac Lake, representing accommodations.

▶ Derek Sprague of the Malone Golf Club, representing retail/restaurant owners.

▶ Bruce Monette, owner of Titus Mountain Family Ski Center, representing recreation-site owners.

▶ Chris LaBarge, owner of the Holiday Inn Express and Suites in Malone, representing accommodations.

▶ Michelle Clement, events coordinator for Tupper Lake, as an at-large member.

▶ Gil Paddock of Deer River Campsite in Malone, representing camping.

▶ A person to be named later from the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort as an at-large member.

▶ Stephanie Radcliff, of the Wild Center in Tupper Lake, representing attractions.

No decision has yet been made on specific term lengths for each member.


Lyon, Monette and LaBarge served on the seven-member Occupancy Tax Committee that formulated the law, which would charge a 5 percent fee on overnight guests and dedicate the money raised to tourism-related objectives the committee recommends.

But final approval for how the funding would be disbursed would remain with the County Legislature, which vows in the law to dedicate $176,000 in taxpayer dollars every year to tourism until the pool of bed-tax money collected reaches $350,000.

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