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Local News

April 24, 2014

Delaware County board moving toward bed tax

DELHI — The Delaware County Board of Supervisors moved forward to implement a bed tax at its meeting Wednesday in Delhi. Funds garnered from a 2 percent hotel, motel and bed & breakfast room occupancy tax in Delaware County will be used to promote tourism. 

“But we must understand, the funds will help prevent us from increasing property tax,” said Stamford Supervisor Mike Triolo.

Davenport Supervisor Dennis Valente and Colchester Supervisor Arthur Merrill voiced opposition to the bed tax.

“I’ve spoken with my constituents and we feel it isn’t fair to tax only the hotel industry,” Merrill said, “without taxing other businesses affected by tourism, such as restaurants.” 

The resolution to levy an occupancy tax in Delaware County will go before the state Legislature to be assigned a bill.

“Some residents in Franklin are not for a bed tax, and they will then be able to speak at a public hearing after the bill is passed at the state level,” said Franklin Supervisor Jeff Taggart.

The bed tax money will be allocated to the county treasurer, and a board will distribute the funds.

Learning, she said, from Otsego County, “this bed-tax may also have an indirect benefit of collecting sales tax from home rentals that fly under the radar,” said Middletown Supervisor Marge Miller. “The Treasurer’s Office will appoint someone to research homes rented out to vacationers.”

Because transportation for the Special Education Program will cost nearly $1 million this year, the Department of Public Health has contracted with the VMC Group, based in Niagara Falls, to provide bid process services and ongoing cost-control services.

VMC Group charges approximately $55,000 a year for its services and will be engaged for 3 years.

Tom Shepstone, a planning and research consultant, reported to the board on a cold water economic study, initiated by the County Economic Development and Friends of the Upper Delaware River. The financial impact on Delaware County stands at $414 million, he said.

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