Medina’s push for 2% bed tax revived in State Legislature

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 April 2022 at 9:18 am

Village wants to use funds to promote tourism and bring more visitors to Medina

Photo by Tom Rivers: This worker shown in late January does some final prep of the 58-room Comfort Inn & Suites that opened in March on Maple Ridge Road.

MEDINA – The village could soon be getting a new revenue stream through a 2 percent “bed tax” on hotel, motel, “tourist home” and other lodging in the village.

The Medina Village Board first pushed for the tax in 2018 but the initiative stalled in the State Legislature. But State Sen. Rob Ortt and Assemblyman Steve Hawley have taken up the issue again and introduced resolutions in the Senate and Assembly.

Medina needs the approval of the State Legislature to collect the tax. Since its initial push for the bed tax, Medina has added 10 more hotel rooms at the Bent’s Opera House in the downtown and also with a new 58-room Comfort Inn & Suites on Maple Ridge Road that opened last month. The Bunkhaus Hostel also opened in late 2019.

Mayor Mike Sidari said the revenue through the bed tax would be dedicated to better position Medina as a tourism destination and help the village better capitalize on the canal, its historic downtown and agri-tourism. He isn’t sure how much in revenue to expect from the tax each year.

The county currently receives a 4 percent occupancy tax. That totaled nearly $60,000 in both 2019 and 2020. The Medina tax would be in addition to the 4 percent imposed by the county for lodging businesses inside the village.

Medina doesn’t receive any of the county’s bed tax. The village has been looking for ways to increase revenue to promote the village. The county hasn’t increased the local sales tax share to village and towns since 2001 and the state Aid and Incentives to Municipalities hasn’t been increased in many years. Medina only gets $45,523 in state AIM, a tiny fraction of what the state gives a similar-size city.

If the Legislature approves the occupancy tax for Medina, it would take effect “immediately,” according to the legislation from Ortt.