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Ulster wants short-term rental cos. to charge bed tax

Jun 21, 2020 5:45 am
William J. Kemble is reporting for the Daily Freeman the Ulster County Legislature will hold a July 1 public hearing on a proposed law that would give online short-term rental companies authority to collect bed taxes. In the Legislature's resolution, officials noted that at least $500,000 in tax revenue has been lost because property owners have been unable to collect fees generated through online services such as Airbnb. “The Legislature finds that Ulster County is currently a major host [of short-term rentals] with a revenue reported from Airbnb alone of $32 million dollars in 2019, a 33 percent increase over 2018,” they wrote. Lawmakers have decided that 50 percent of the tax from short-term rentals would be allocated toward promoting county tourism and conventions, and the other 50 percent would go toward the development and implementation of the Advisory Committee on Housing. Some lawmakers are concerned the law would not survive a court challenge. “I keep hearing that there are 20-plus other counties that have similar contracts with Airbnb, so it must be legal,” said county Minority Leader Ken Ronk. The July 1 hearing is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. in a video conference format that will provide speakers use of a telephone sign-in service. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.