Bed tax idea thrown out the window

NORWICH – Whether an extra $70,000 per year is worth the hassle or not, Chenango County will most likely not see a bed tax on hotels and bed and breakfasts any time soon.

The potential revenue, based on the number of rooms here, isn’t enough to justify raising the tax let alone requesting it, say local and state officials, particularly in an election year and in a state that hasn’t passed a single home rule request to raise taxes in two years. The tax would require the Chenango County Board of Supervisors to adopt a resolution, forward it to state representatives and have both houses of the New York Legislature and the governor give it the go ahead.

New York State Association of Counties Director Stephen Acquario acknowledged that the amount would go far in small, rural counties such as Chenango’s, and that counties are in desperate need of revenue to pay the cost of state mandates. But he said there’s “almost zero chance” that a home rule request will be approved by the state’s legislature.

“It’s a pattern of flat out rejection because the perception is that the state has over taxed its people. So, instead of allowing counties’ to collect what they can, like mortage recording taxes, 911 surcharges, bed taxes, and flat sales taxes, the (only) alternative is to cut local services and raise property taxes... . This is their position,” he said.

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