January 8, 2013

Linking bed tax, sales tax

MALONE — The promise of higher sales-tax revenue is also spurring support for instituting a bed tax in Franklin County.

Potential income and what to do about waterfront-property owners who rent rooms out to cover taxes will likely be discussed at public hearings this week and next as the county looks at charging a 5 percent fee on all overnight visitors.

Two of the hearings are Thursday. The first is at 5:30 p.m. at the Tupper Lake Village Offices on Lake Street, followed at 7 p.m. at the Harrietstown Town Hall in the Village of Saranac Lake.

The third public hearing is at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, in the fourth-floor Legislative Chambers in the County Courthouse in Malone.


If the county is successful in petitioning the State Legislature for permission to institute the 5 percent occupancy tax, the County Treasurer’s Office would collect the money and enforce the law to make sure all lodging owners participate.

The money would be earmarked for tourism, and an appointed committee would then recommend to the County Legislature how the money should be spent.

A part-time tourism-promotion agent would carry out the projects once approved by legislators.

If tourism numbers climb, officials say, sales-tax figures would also grow.

A committee was formed to create the local law, and a draft was submitted to legislators Dec. 20. Some had read the plan and some had not as of last week, when the subject was mentioned during the legislature’s reorganizational meeting.


Legislator Sue Robideau (R-Brushton) raised questions on the law’s wording and about making the document consistent, which led to a discussion on whether the draft law should be changed and, if so, how significantly.

“I don’t think we should be making changes. We should be making suggestions to change and bring them up at the public hearings and discuss it,” said Legislator Timothy Burpoe (D-Saranac Lake).

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Colin Read's Column

Business Spotlight
Peter Hagar's Farm Column

Farm Briefs
Videos: Business News
After Fukushima, Japan Eyes Solar Power New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech High-flying Tech Stocks a Concern for Investors "Heartbleed" Bug Puts Internet Security at Risk AP Tech Review: Samsung Galaxy S5 Toyota Recalls 1.8M Vehicles in the US Comcast Executive: 'Merger Not a Problem' Microsoft Ends Support for Windows XP Study: Airline Industry Complaints Drop in 2013 Study: Airline Industry Complaints Drop in 2013 Employers Add 192K Jobs; Rate Stays at 6.7 Pct Senators Press Barra About GM's Delay in Recall More Americans See Middle Class Status Slipping GM CEO Faces House Hearing on Recall NHTSA: GM Should 'Fix Vehicles Quickly' GM's CEO Testifies on Faulty Ignition Switches Owner, Families Share Cobalt Stories Jury Selection Begins in Apple-Samsung Case BMW Plans $1 Billion Expansion in South Carolina