June 15, 2013

Bed tax may be close

MALONE — Franklin County’s proposed occupancy-tax bill is now before each house of government in Albany.

And legislators could hear as early as next week if they can begin charging a 5 percent fee to overnight guests.

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Sen. Betty Little introduced bill S5742, and Assembly member Janet Duprey introduced bill A7966 to allow the county to amend its tax law and impose a fee not to exceed 5 percent for three years to start.

The County Legislature called a special meeting Friday to adopt a resolution supporting passage of the bills.

“Revenues raised from this tax shall be allocated for the promotion of tourism development, economic development and other directly related and supporting activities, with the county holding back 10 percent of the amount collected for an administration fee,” the proposed law states.

It is before the Committee on Investigations and Government Operations in the Senate and the Ways and Means Committee in the Assembly.

Lawmakers in Albany are working on a flurry of bills because the current State Legislature session wraps up June 20.

The bed-tax bill could be one of the measures acted upon before they break for the summer.


The occupancy tax would be collected from overnight stays at vacation-rental properties, bed-and-breakfasts, cottages, condominiums, hotels and motels.

The County Treasurer’s Office would track and enforce the bed tax, which legislators believe would bring in between $350,000 and $400,000 a year.

It would be used to promote tourism, so those promotional programs would no longer be funded with county tax dollars.

Members were recently appointed to a Tourism Advisory Committee that would determine how tourism funds and future bed-tax fees would be spent.

The members represent a cross-section of interests, including accommodations, attractions, businesses, restaurants, camping and the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino.

The committee will hold its first meeting at 10 a.m. Friday, June 21, in the Legislative Chambers on the fourth floor of the County Courthouse.

Email Denise A.

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