Katz: Hulse First Cooperstown Rep
Not To Support Tourism-Impact Aid
But Town Of Otsego Rep Says He Supports Creating Fund In ’15 For ’16
COOPERSTOWN – Rick Hulse is the only county representative, Republican or Democratic, from District 8 – it includes Cooperstown – not to vote to redistribute bed-tax revenues to help pay for Cooperstown’s tourism-related costs, Mayor Jeff Katz said this evening.
Hulse, a freshman representative from Fly Creek elected last November, called the mayor’s request “last-minute,” and proposed an alternative approach.
Katz was remarking after he appeared at the public hearing on the county’s 2015 budget, held at 6 this evening in Courtroom #1, where he asked the county to help communities – Cooperstown, but also the city and town of Oneonta, and the Town of Hartwick – to help cover the costs of serving tourists. (Hartwick Town Supervisor David Butler also spoke in favor of an extra allocation.)
The mayor said five county reps – Democrats Ed Lentz, New Lisbon; Beth Rosenthal, Roseboom, and Gary Koutnik, Linda Rowinski and Kay Stuligross, all of Oneonta – favor a special allocation, but Hulse did not join them.
The county, Katz pointed out, is giving $170,000 back to taxpayers this year, a sum that amounts to little on individual tax bills. “He money’s there,” he said.
For his part, Hulse, a freshman rep elected last November, said he would support the county setting up a special fund in 2015 to be allocated for 2016. Towns seeking tourism-impact aid could make proposals for specific projects to be undertaken the following year.
He also pointed out that only $440,000 of the $1.4 million generated by the bed tax goes to tourism promotion (it is the allocation to the privatize Destination Marketing organization), and expressed agreement that more of the tourism-generated revenues should be used to support tourism, an apparent agreement with the mayor.
In response to Hulse’s “last-minute” characterization, Katz said: “He and I have met multiple times on bed tax and other matters since he got into office and he, Beth Rosenthal and myself had a conference call specifically on bed tax redistribution on Aug. 26.”
Preceding Hulse in the District 8 post were Democrat John Kosmer, Republican Jim Johnson and Democratic Nancy Iversen.