New York State Issues
NYSH&TA is working toward the introduction of legislation that would prohibit short-term rentals in Upstate New York and on Long Island. Airbnb operates short-term rental units that are largely unregulated in terms of both taxes and safety measures throughout New York. Airbnb has recently entered into tax agreements with several counties to collect and remit occupancy taxes on behalf of its hosts.
Governor Cuomo advanced the following tourism funding initiatives in his Executive Budget proposal:
Matching Grants - $3,815,000
I Love NY - $2,500,000
Market New York - $7,000,000
Taste NY - $1,100,000
Cultural arts and public spaces fund, including projects that increase tourism - $10,000,000
Round 7 of the REDCs are advanced
Legislative Budget Proposals
Both the Senate and Assembly proposed a $1 million increase to the Matching Grants Program, and a $1 million decrease to the Market New York Program. Both houses also included the Governor’s $10 million proposal for cultural arts and public spaces projects that increase tourism. Neither house included funding for REDCs or I Love New York. While the Senate did not include any funding for Taste NY, the Assembly proposed a $1 million decrease to the program.
Each house also included new pots of money in their budget proposals. The Assembly advanced a $30.5 million pot for economic development efforts that promote New York as a tourist destination. The Senate advanced a $1.45 million pot for marketing, advertising, and retail operations that promote local agritourism.
Small Business Package
NYSH&TA is working to introduce legislation that will benefit the tourism industry as a whole, and small businesses particularly. Topics for this package may include:
Training Wage/Seasonal Workforce;
Ski Equipment Tax Credit;
Tax Credits for Hiring Youth or Seasonal Workers
Fines For Listing Illegal Hotels
Fines for listing illegal hotels on web platforms per new law signed by Governor Cuomo in October 2016. Fines of up to $7,500 (1st incident=$1K, 2nd - $5K and subsequent incidents $7.5K) can be imposed for listing illegal hotel rooms on web platforms like Airbnb. HANYC has been working with the Office of Special Enforcement (OSE) in the Mayor’s office to ramp up enforcement based on the new law.
Real Property Taxes
NYC has seen a 100% increase on average for all hotels in RPT over the past 8-9 years. Revpar has declined for two years in a row (2015-16) HANYC has been working with the Department of Finance to seek relief in transitional assessment process used by DOF by requesting a trending down of revenue to arrive at a lower increase in RPT.
Organic Waste Disposal Rules
The City has promulgated new rules for disposal of organic waste that are onerous to hotels as they require to source-separate waste including glass, syringes and other dangerous objects into separate receptacles. HANYC is working with the department of sanitation to amend these rules to make it more practical for hotels.