The bed tax will rise from 4 percent to 6 percent, and is being levied in the fall to avoid have an impact on people who have already booked rooms for this summer.
County Reps Skeptical About News
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
Air BnB is Otsego County’s single largest bed-tax generator, but from April 1 to June 30, it generated nothing, County Treasurer Allen Ruffles reported to the county Board of Representatives this morning.
“They collected something like $140,000 and they sent us zero money,” he said. At a 2 percent rate, that would generally generate $2,800.
Privatized Promotion Extended
To Put ‘Heads In Beds’ Locally
COOPERSTOWN – The county Board of Representatives this morning approved a second three-year contract with Destination Marketing of Otsego County, ending months of uncertainty about the privatized tourism-promotion effort.
The contract runs from this coming Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2019.
On issue that was resolved: DMOC had sought a five-year contract, but settled for three.
Senate OKs Delaware Bed Tax,
Measure Moves On To Assembly
ALBANY – The state Senate has authorized Delaware County – inspired by its neighbor to the north – to impose a bed tax on motel and hotel rooms, and state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, has announced its passage in the Upper House.
The bill, requested by the Delaware County Board of Supervisors, has moved to the state Assembly, where Assemblyman Clifford Crouch, R-Sidney, has introduced legislation.
Oneonta, Cooperstown County Reps Should
Support Sharing Bed-Tax Revenue
Edition of Thursday-Friday, Dec. 4-5, 2014
To the Editor:
Thank you to your newspapers for the repeated suggestion that the county Board of Representatives should reform the occupancy or “bed tax.” It is inexplicable that the board seems set on ignoring this commonsense appeal, including several representatives whose own districts will suffer greatly.
Tourism is one of the primary industries of our County and is led by Cooperstown, the city and town of Oneonta, and the towns of Otsego and Hartwick. Those communities collect the overwhelming majority of the tourism-related bed tax and they also suffer the majority of the wear and tear and stresses associated with this increased tourism. It makes sense that a greater portion of the bed tax should be returned to these communities to repair their roads or otherwise expend the funds as their residents see fit.
Over the past several months, the reform effort was primarily led by Mayors Miller and Katz of Oneonta and Cooperstown and Supervisor Wood from the Town of Oneonta. The initial suggestion was to increase the bed tax from 4 percent to 6 percent with the new funds being returned to the communities that generate it. This increase likely would not have been noticed by our visitors and would not have taken any funds from County coffers. It was rejected by the board.
The latest reform effort would abandon the bed-tax increase but still require the county to return a share of the funds to the local communities. Both plans would benefit residents of Oneonta and Cooperstown and I am at a loss as to why their representatives would reject these proposals.
The Town of Oneonta government has petitioned its Representative, Janet Hurley Quackenbush, regarding the need for bed-tax reform but has so far not received a positive response. The Town of Oneonta would stand to receive in the neighborhood of $40,000 annually from bed-tax reform.
While this may not sound like a lot in the grand scheme of things, this sum would allow for a reasonable increase in funds to the Town Highway Department with ZERO property tax increase to local residents. Oneontans would experience better road quality with no increased tax burden. It’s win-win for them.
The final county budget workshop was held this past Monday the 3rd, and the Board appears ready to reject any proposals to reform the bed tax, purely along partisan lines. This should not be a Republican or Democratic issue. I strongly urge Representatives Hulse and Quackenbush to represent the interests of your constituents and not just your party.
To the readers, please contact your county representative to encourage reasonable tax reform. This conversation will likely continue into next year.
Oneonta Town Board
Lentz Will Ask Colleagues
To OK Tourism-Impact Aid
COOPERSTOWN – County Rep. Ed Lentz, D-New Lisbon, said a few moments ago that he intends to make a motion at Wednesday’s county board meeting to distribute $150,000 in tourism-impact aid to municipalities that bear the brunt of Otsego County’s largest industry.
“We have significant support,” said Lentz, an attorney and farmer. “Do we have a majority? I’ll tell you on Wednesday.”
The communities that generate the largest amount of the $1.4 million in bed-tax revenues are: the town and city of Oneonta (30 percent), the Town of Hartwick (25 percent) and the Village of Cooperstown (23 percent).
Lentz, who represents Hartwick, said he expects support from five Democrats: himself, plus Beth Rosenthal, Roseboom, and Gary Koutnik, Linda Rowinski and Kay Stuligross, all of Oneonta.
But, he continued, Republicans representing the impacted municipalities should support him as well. He mentioned county Rep. Rick Hulse, who represents Cooperstown; Janet Hurley Quackenbush, Town of Oneonta, and Craig Gelbsman, City of Oneonta, and perhaps Keith McCarty from Richfield-Springfield as well.
Hulse: I Support Tourism Impact Aid
COOPERSTOWN – County Rep. Rick Hulse, R-Otsego, a few minutes ago issued a statement saying Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz is “incorrect in his assertion that I do not support Tourism Impact Aid.”
“In fact, I fully support a better distribution of bed tax money to benefit our County and specifically the Town of Otsego and Village of Cooperstown,” he said in a statement. The statement continues:
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.)
Raise Bed Tax 2 Percent To Aid
Municipalities, 3 Leaders Say
Saying municipal finances are structurally flawed, the top political leaders of Cooperstown and Oneonta have issued a statement calling for a 2 percent bed-tax increase to benefit the communities that generate bed-tax revenues.
Cooperstown Village Mayor Jeff Katz, Oneonta City Mayor Dick Miller and Oneonta Town Supervisor Bob Wood provided the statement to Hometown Oneonta and The Freeman’s Journal, which published it in full in the editions that arrive on newsstands this afternoon.
“An increase in the Bed Tax from 4 to 6 percent, with all the additional 2 percent directed to the local municipalities that generate the revenue, would not diminish the County’s ability to properly fund the outreach component of tourism, while providing local municipalities with additional resources to help ensure positive experiences for visitors while they are here,” the three write.