Bills for Medina occupancy tax introduced in State Legislature

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 March 2019 at 11:42 am

MEDINA – Legislation has been introduced in State Senate and Assembly to allow the Village of Medina to impose a 2 percent occupancy tax for room rentals in the village.

State Sen. Robert Ortt, R-North Tonawanda, and State Assemblyman Michael Norris, R-Lockport, both introduced legislation on March 11.

Norris’s proposal, Bill No. A06537, is cosponsored by Assemblyman Steve Hawley-R-Batavia. The legislation has been referred to the Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee.

Ortt’s proposal, Bill No. S4451, is in the Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee.

The bills seek to give Medina permission to impose a hotel/motel occupancy tax of up to 2 percent. Medina village officials say the funds will towards promoting tourism and economic development in the community.

The legislation says the tax shall apply to any “tourist home, inn, club, hotel, motel or other similar place of public accommodation.” The owners of the properties will be required to impose the tax. The village’s chief fiscal officer will then collect the tax.

The tax does not apply to people who are considered “permanent residents” of a hotel or motel, those staying at least 30 consecutive days.

Orleans County also imposes a 4 percent occupancy tax that generates about $35,000 a year and is used solely by the county for its tourism promotion efforts.

Medina will see an increase in rooms with the renovation of the Bent’s Opera House to be partly used as a hotel. A new chain hotel, Cobblestone Inn & Suites, also is expected to break ground this year on Maple Ridge Road.

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