Counties commend Legislature for push to strengthen EMS, collect sales tax on short-term rentals

Posted 8 June 2024 at 1:13 pm

Press Release, NYS Association of Counties

In the final hours of the 2024 State Legislative Session, bipartisan majorities of the Assembly and Senate adopted key pieces of legislation supported by the New York State Association of Counties that will strengthen local Emergency Medical Services and enable counties to collect sales tax and hotel/motel occupancy tax (outside of New York City) from short-term rental companies like Airbnb and VRBO.

Both pieces of legislation were among NYSAC’s top priorities for this year’s Legislative Session. One bill, S.8486-A (Hinchey)/A.9102-A (Kelles) authorizes EMS providers to receive reimbursement for treating patients at the point of emergency and transporting patients to non-hospital healthcare facilities. The legislation was part of NYSAC’s “Rescue EMS” legislative package.

 “This is a significant step forward for EMS systems struggling to stay solvent amid rising costs and outdated funding formulas that impose a ‘one-size-fits-all’ requirement for ambulances to transport patients to a hospital,” said NYSAC President and Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy. “Counties commend Assembly Speaker Heastie, Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Assemblymember Kelles, and Senator Hinchey for their leadership and commitment to ensuring EMS providers are fairly compensated for providing patients with the care they need.”

Another bill, S.885-B (Hinchey) / A.4130-A (Fahy), requires short-term home rental agencies, such as VRBO, Airbnb, and others collect sales tax and hotel/motel occupancy tax (outside of New York City).

“By working constructively with our partners in the State Legislature, we’ve been able to achieve significant progress on measures that will provide a critical lifeline to local EMS and establish a fair system for short-term rentals that will directly benefit local communities by funding essential services, such as public safety, social services, and infrastructure improvements,” said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen Acquario. “We applaud Speaker Heastie and Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, and members in both chambers, for their commitment to working with counties to find bipartisan and common-sense solutions to the challenges facing local governments.”