Medina tries again to have 2% ‘bed tax’ for lodging, room rentals in the village

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 May 2023 at 6:21 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: The Hart Hotel includes five rooms and two lofts on the third floor of 113 West Center St.

MEDINA – The Medina Village Board is again trying to go through the proper channels in the State Legislature to allow the village to impose a 2-percent occupancy tax on rooms and lodging.

The board today voted to ask the State Assembly and State Senate to allow Medina to have a 2-percent occupancy tax in the village. Medina first tried to have the tax imposed in 2018 but it has stalled in the State Legislature.

Medina Mayor Mike Sidari said the revenue would be used to promote tourism in the village and also to help cover some of the village’s overtime costs with events. The Police Department and Department of Public Works often work extra hours for the many community events in the village, Sidari said today.

The board in an official resolution today said the village wants to be a bigger tourist destination by promoting the Erie Canal, its historic downtown, agri-tourism and other attractions.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley has introduced Bill No., A.6671, to authorize Medina to collect the occupancy tax. Previous efforts to gain full support in both houses of the Legislature haven’t been successful.

Orleans County currently currently imposes a 4-percent “bed tax” that topped $100,000 for the first time in 2022. The $111,013 in 2022 passed the previous record high of $79,102 in 2021. The third most was collected in 2020: $58,438.

The county is seeing more short-term vacation rentals such as Airbnbs. A 58-room Comfort Inn & Suites opened on March 18, 2022 in Medina, giving the county its first branded hotel. Bent’s Opera House also opened 10 hotel rooms in 2021.

The county’s bed tax is used to promote attractions in the county. Medina’s tax would focus on efforts in the village.