Delaware County's proposed bed tax rises again

A year ago, on April 23, 2014, the Delaware County Board of Supervisors voted to ask the New York State Legislature to impose a 2 percent occupancy tax on room and hotel rentals in Delaware County.

But despite broad support for the so-called bed tax among the county leaders -- 17 out of 19 supervisors voted in favor of the tax last year -- the plan fizzled in at the state level, dying ignominiously in committee. (That may have had something to do with a groundswell of opposition among Delaware County hotel owners against the plan.)

Now the bed tax plan is back. On Wednesday, April 22, 2015, the Delaware County Board of Supervisors once again voted to approve a resolution asking the state legislature to approve a 2 percent bed tax in Delaware County.

But this time around, the bed tax measure has fewer supporters on the Board of Supervisors. Just fourteen out of 19 supervisors voted for bed tax on Wednesday, down three votes from last year, according to Lori Koronowski, the board's assistant clerk.

The two supervisors who shifted their votes to oppose the bed tax this year were Tina Molé of Bovina and Tom Axtell of Deposit, Koronowski said. Roxbury Town Supervisor Tom Hynes was not present at the meeting for the vote.

According to the Daily Star, Molé voted against the bed tax because she believes state legislators are unlikely to approve new taxes.

Arthur Merrill of Colchester and Dennis Valente of Davenport, who both voted against the bed tax measure last year, voted against it once again this week.

At the meeting, the board voted to add language to the resolution arguing that Delaware County's lack of a bed tax puts it "at a distinct disadvantage to its neighboring counties." The new phrasing states that "Delaware County is one of only four counties in New York State that has not received authorization from the State for the imposition of an occupancy tax."

The full text of the 2015 bed tax resolution, with the additional language highlighted in red, is embedded below. 

If the county receives permission from the state legislature and the governor to levy the bed tax, the Board of Supervisors will draft a local law and then hold public hearings to discuss it.

DC Bed Tax Resolution Updated 4 22 15