Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Auerbach tells hotel operators there is no need to increase bed tax

KINGSTON – The Ulster County Lodging Coalition was relieved to hear of Ulster County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach’s recently released findings regarding certain discrepancies in the amount of money collected through the county’s hotel/motel occupancy tax which he shared with them at a Tuesday evening meeting in Kingston.

“There is room for improvement in the management and administration of the bed tax program and as a result there has been revenue left on the table,” Auerbach said.

The actual dollar amount of revenue left uncollected is still under debate, but Auerbach supported retaining the current two percent tax, not increasing it, saying that those in charge of administrating it need to become “better stewards of what is already in place.”

Ulster County Lodging Coalition Chairwoman and General Manager of Mohonk Mountain House, Jackie Appeldorn, said that the Lodging Coalition was relieved by Auerbach’s findings because they further support his recommendation of a zero percent increase to the current bed tax.

“Going into the next election, and because of the economic situation, we have feared that the bed tax might be an easy target. So when his report came out and said that he was not recommending an increase and he thought there was enough money there; that was reassuring.”

Appeldorn said that ideally the Coalition would like to see the bed tax repealed, but at this point they have learned to live with it at two percent and the last thing they would like to see is an increase.
(Copyright © 2010 Mid-Hudson News Network, a division of Statewide News Network, Inc)

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