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Westchester Communities Await Cuomo's Signature On Hotel/Motel Bed Tax

Vincent's Motel, near Rye Neck High School in the town of Mamaroneck could collect a 3 percent occupancy tax under state legislation passed in June. The new "bed tax" awaits Gov. Andrew Cuomo's signature by Dec. 31 or will expire.
Vincent's Motel, near Rye Neck High School in the town of Mamaroneck could collect a 3 percent occupancy tax under state legislation passed in June. The new "bed tax" awaits Gov. Andrew Cuomo's signature by Dec. 31 or will expire. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
The Hampton Inn at 200 Tarrytown Road in Elmsford could collect a new occupancy tax under state legislation passed in June. The 3 percent "bed tax" awaits Gov. Andrew Cuomo's approval by Dec. 31, or will expire.
The Hampton Inn at 200 Tarrytown Road in Elmsford could collect a new occupancy tax under state legislation passed in June. The 3 percent "bed tax" awaits Gov. Andrew Cuomo's approval by Dec. 31, or will expire. Photo Credit: File photo

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- For a second straight year, state lawmakers and elected officials from 15 communities are lobbying Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign new hotel and motel taxes into law.

Four state Assembly members from the Hudson Valley called on Cuomo in a letter sent Thursday to sign eight bills into law before they expire on Dec. 31.

Several locally sponsored bills were passed before the state legislature recessed in June. Like last year, if the legislation fails to get Cuomo's signature, the new hotel/motel tax will not become law.

Local laws also must be passed to collect the $3 "bed tax" on each $100 spent.

Urging the governor to sign the bill before year's end, in a letter sent Thursday (attached below) were Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, D-Scarsdale; Assemblyman Tom Abinanti, D-Mount Pleasant; Assemblyman David Buchwald, D-White Plains; and Assemblyman James Skoufis, D-Woodbury.

In addition to Woodbury, which is in Orange County, the bills would OK new motel/hotel taxes in these 14 Westchester County communities: Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Elmsford, Greenburgh, Harrison, Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington, Mamaroneck, Mount Kisco, North Castle, Port Chester, Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown and Tuckahoe.

Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner has been pushing for a hotel/motel tax authorization in his town since 2009.

If the bills are signed into law, the municipalities could begin collecting the 3 percent occupancy tax -- also called a "bed tax" -- once accompanying local laws are approved in 2017.

Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Abinanti and Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins secured the new bed tax for the Town of Greenburgh and villages of Tarrytown, Elmsford, Sleepy Hollow, Ardsley, Irvington, Dobbs Ferry and Hastings-on-Hudson.

Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Buchwald and Sen. George Latimer, D-Rye, gives the Village of Mount Kisco and the towns of Harrison and North Castle authority to collect the bed taxes at any new or existing hotels/motels.

Harrison Mayor/Supervisor Ron Belmont previously told Daily Voice in this article : "Other municipalities around New York State and in Westchester County have had a hotel tax for years. The expectation is that this tax will generate a substantial amount in new revenue and will assist the Town in maintaining municipal services while, at the same time, approving budgets that remain under the mandated New York State tax cap."

White Plains, New Rochelle, Rye and Rye Brook previously were granted state approval to collect hotel/motel bed taxes in legislation that requires annual extensions by the state legislature.

Assemblyman Steve Otis, a Rye Democrat, and Latimer sponsored legislation that allows a motel/hotel tax to be collected in Mamaroneck, Port Chester and New Rochelle. That bill also extended the taxing authority for the City of Rye and Village of Rye Brook.

Assemblywoman Paulin sponsored legislation that allows the motel/hotel tax to be collected in Tuckahoe and extended White Plains' bed tax.

And Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer, a Democrat from Yonkers, sponsored the bill that renewed a motel/hotel occupancy tax collected in her hometown.

The Town of Greenburgh estimates that the occupancy tax will generate up to $1 million annually from about 2,000 hotel and motel rooms -- new revenue that will help the town comply with the property tax cap and address infrastructure needs such as paving roads and installing new sidewalks.

White Plains collects about $1 million a year in hotel taxes. New Rochelle projects $280,000 from the hotel tax. Rye expects to collect $150,000. Rye Brook, which has two marquee hotels in the Hilton Westchester and Doral Arrowwood, collects about $630,000 in annual occupancy taxes.

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