by Rick Pezzullo
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s veto of a bill that would have allowed the Town of Greenburgh and its six villages to impose a 3% hotel occupancy tax was a costly decision for Tarrytown.
Village Administrator Michael Blau said Tarrytown would have received approximately $320,000 annually from the room tax. Meanwhile, Greenburgh would have pulled in an extra $1 million.
State Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti (D/Tarrytown), who sponsored the legislation, said mostly out-of-town visitors would have paid the tax, as is done in such municipalities as White Plains, New Rochelle, Yonkers, Rye and Peekskill.
“There is no justification to deny towns and villages this revenue source,” Abinanti said. “The Legislature has always granted requests for occupancy fees on an individual basis. Unfortunately, this veto furthers the agenda of corporate special interests who try to avoid making a fair contribution to the communities where they are located and who lobbied against this legislation. At the same time, the hardworking property taxpayers of Greenburgh and Sleepy Hollow lost an opportunity for some tax relief.”
As part of his veto, Cuomo stated hotel occupancy user fees are usually only levied by counties and cities and such a policy change should be made on a comprehensive, statewide basis.