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County’s bed tax topped $50K for first time last year

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 April 2019 at 7:07 am

ALBION – The county’s bed tax reached a new high in 2018 when it topped $50,000 for the first time.

The 4 percent tax on lodging, which was implemented in 2003, last year totaled $51,002, according to the Orleans County Tourism Department.

That was up 12.4 percent or $5,628 from the $45,374 in 2017, which was the previous high.

The “bed tax” revenue is used by the county to leverage matching “I Love NY” funds. The money is used by the Tourism Department for advertising, design, printing, media buys, consumer shows, distribution and operations.

The county prints 40,000 visitor guides each year and other brochures that are placed at visitor centers along the Thruway and other gateways in the state, including the Thousand Islands bridge on Route 81. If the revenue continues to grow the county could print more visitor guides and place more in Canada and other locations, within a 5-hour drive, said Dawn Borchet, the county’s tourism director.

The bed tax ranged from $31,141 in 2010 to $39,022 in 2015. It topped $40,000 for the first time in 2016 with $40,927.

Borchet said the uptick in the bed tax is an indication more visitors are staying in the county at hotels, motor courts, boarding houses, cabins, cottages, bed and breakfast establishments, and inns or tourist homes.

The bed tax is expected to be on an upward trend in the coming years with the opening of a hostel in Medina, a new hotel in Medina, and a boutique hotel in the former Bent’s Opera House in Medina.

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