Friday, February 13, 2015

The Progress of the Lodging Tax

Last night, the Common Council held a public meeting about the lodging tax, which has been proposed as part of an initiative to find new sources for a quarter of the revenue now raised by property taxes and hence to provide some relief to property owners. Aldermen John Friedman (Third Ward) and Nick Haddad (First Ward), who chair respectively the Legal Committee and the Finance Committee, led the meeting which was meant explain the rationale for proposing the tax and to hear the concerns of the proprietors of established lodging establishments and Airbnb businesses.

John Mason reports the discussion that occurred at the meeting in today's Register-Star: "Lodging owners back proposed tax." Click here to view the conditions under which the B&Bs that are members of Stay in Hudson support the lodging tax.  

Yesterday morning, Friedman and Haddad spoke about the lodging tax on the radio show We the People, hosted by Tom DePietro, on WGXC. That interview can be heard online here.


  1. I continue to believe that the lodging tax discussion is premature. Where's the report about the city's finances that seems to be the cause of this new tax proposal? What's wrong with the city's finances? Where's the report on the existing property tax, the number of properties excluded from it, the status of PILOTS? I could have missed some things here, but why do we suddenly need a half-million more dollars? What is it going to be used for?

    1. What's it going to be used for? The two things most often mentioned are repairing/replacing the Ferry Street Bridge and replacing the 20-year-old ladder truck.

  2. What about my other questions? Where's the analysis here? This isn't like Christmas; we want more more $$$ to buy more goodies. Sam Pratt's got a nice analysis of the situation:

  3. Has anyone discussed the enforcement mechanism? How will this tax be enforced? Sales Tax is enforced by the NYS Department of Taxation & Finance. Will they also enforce "Hudson's" local tax? If not, that means a bureaucracy will have to be created to create and review new city tax returns, do audits, enforce nonpayment; deal with appeals, etc. Will there be investigators looking into nontraditional lodging, such as AirBnB type accommodations? Many of these "informal" b&b's are in violation of the building code and zoning. So, will there be undercover tax investigators ferreting out online advertisements for accommodations, then hit them with a back tax bill, as well as shutting them down for code violations? Sounds more like an initiative to create more patronage jobs than a way help the ordinary taxpayer. Has anybody really thought this out?

  4. tractor trailers tearing up city streets, pay nothing. "Hudson where my hobby is now non-profit", pays nothing. the county pays, nothing. i'm a homeowner in Hudson, i pay a lot and receive, not much.
    how much did the city provide for the Flag Day Parade? a thousand bucks? Pride Parade? the same? using Mr. Pratt's arithmetic by half could pay for a damn fine parade, music, and fireworks. however, there must be language in the legislation specifying part of the money collected from "heads in beds" be used to generate "more heads in beds". this is how the tax is used very successfully in other communities, just don't turn that money over to the chamber of commerce though, that would be a big mistake. those Air Bnbs? make the owner come in to city hall and get a "transient rental unit license", this is how they deal with that little problem elsewhere and it also helps control how many of those pop up in a neighborhood.