Opinion Mixed on Proposed Bed Tax

Apr 15, 2013

Franklin County New York  legislators are considering a 5 percent occupancy tax for all hotels and guest accommodations. Funds generated from the tax would be used for tourism marketing. But some lodging owners in the southern part of the county are adamantly opposed to the idea.

The Franklin County legislature provides about 176-thousand dollars annually for tourism marketing. Creation of an occupancy, or bed, tax could generate an additional 400,000 dollars annually. Board of Legislators Chair Democrat Billy Jones believes the county needs to boost tourism marketing, and tourism itself can be one of the best revenue resources.

A hearing was held recently on the proposed bed tax in Tupper Lake.  Some hospitality owners there don’t like the idea. Red Top Inn co-owner Jay Chojnowski lists a number of objections, including an unfair burden on a small number of businesses.

Malone Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Hugh Hill supports the proposed tax.

Hill says most of his member businesses support the bed tax and opposition is localized to the southern part of the county in the Tupper Lake area.

Franklin County legislators are forming a Tourism Advisory Council comprised of business owners that will develop and implement a tourism marketing plan.

The county is known for its camping, fishing, hiking, and outdoor sports. The southern part of the county is in the Adirondacks, where you can find the Wild Center in Tupper Lake.  Saranac Lake is partly in the county and both communities are neighbors to Lake Placid in Essex County.