Friday, June 21, 2013

$22m THREAT TO ULSTER COUNTY RESIDENTS (Copyright © 2013 Mid-Hudson News Network, a division of Statewide News Network, Inc.)
Ulster County officials blast Assemblyman Cahill for sales tax "extortion" KINGSTON – Ulster County officials Thursday afternoon blasted state Assemblyman Kevin Cahill (D-Kingston) for, in their words, blocking the sales tax extension. Every two years, Albany lawmakers routinely approve county requests to maintain the current level of the local sales tax rate, in order to offset budget shortfalls. Local sales tax is paid for by local residents and visitors and is used to off-set the property tax. Auerbach, at the podium, states the county's position to continue the sales tax at its current level County Executive Michael Hein was joined by Comptroller Elliott Auerbach, Kingston Mayor Shayne Gallo, town supervisors and county legislators from both sides of the aisle to urge Cahill's reconsideration. Cahill's staff members who were present as observers at the news conference, had no comment. County Legislature Majority leader Kenneth Ronk called the roadblock "extortion," echoed by Hein's characterization of the matter as a "holding the county hostage." A total of $22 million in cuts to essential services will result if Cahill has his way, they said. As a senior member of the state Assembly, Cahill reserves the right to keep specific bills from reaching the floor. Ulster is the only county in New York State being denied a sales tax extension this year, Hein noted. Local officials also urged constituents to pressure Cahill to change his mind, before the deadline passes.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Ulster County hotel tax revenue up 6.2% in 2012 -

A THREE YEAR INCREASE IN HOTEL-MOTEL "BED TAX" INDICATES A STRENGTHENING IN THE TOURISM ECONOMY By Freeman staff KINGSTON, N.Y. — Ulster County’s revenue from its hotel/motel room tax was 6.2 percent higher in 2012 than in 2011, the County Executive’s Office announced on Tuesday. Michael Hein’s office said the revenue from the “occupancy tax” in 2012 was $1.1 million, a gain of about $64,400 over the previous year’s total. The revenue is from the 2 percent tax the county charges for lodging on top of the combined state and county sales tax, which is 8 percent. Hein’s office said the county’s hotel/motel tax revenue now has risen in three consecutive years and is up a cumulative 14.4 percent since 2009. “We are very pleased to see this exceptional level of growth, despite the fact that the economy is still stagnant across the United States,” Hein said in a prepared statement. “It is becoming clear that more and more people are deciding to visit Ulster County when it comes time to plan their yearly vacations or getaways, and we’re thrilled to elevate our standing as a tourism hot spot.” Hein’s office said more than 7,400 people are employed in the leisure/hospitality industry in the Kingston Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Ulster County, and that it’s the fastest-growing business sector in the region. “In the years to come, tourism will continue to be a major factor in Ulster County’s economic vibrancy,” Hein said in his statement. Ulster County hotel tax revenue up 6.2% in 2012 -