Saratoga Springs, county to address short-term rental tax | News

On June 10, state lawmakers passed a bill regulating short-term rentals across New York. Many officials expect the bill, which was co-sponsored by Assemblymember Patricia Fahy, D-Albany, and state Sen. Michelle Hinchey, D-Saugerties, to be signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

Under the legislation, those rental units would be subject to bed tax, just like hotels pay.

However, a law dating back to 1978 currently prohibits the collection of such a tax for anything four units or less in the city of Saratoga Springs, said Accounts Commissioner Dillon Moran and county Supervisor Matt Veitch, who represents the city.

“We’re stuck in our own local law that keeps us from making that collection, so we’re going to have to, if it’s going to change, bring that proposal back to our state leaders to try to get them to carry a bill for us to make this change,” Veitch said.

That means that both state Assemblywoman Carrier Woerner and state Sen. James Tedisco would need to bring the legislation forth in their respective chambers of the state Legislature.

Veitch said county and city officials attempted this a few years back, to no avail, after discovering the issue when short-term rental companies were trying to make Payment in Lieu of Taxes Agreement with municipalities.

Moran said he believes Woener would support the effort. Woerner’s office did not return a request for comments.

Tedisco’s office said Wednesday they hadn’t spoken to any local elected officials.

“We also would want to see if the Governor is going to sign pending statewide short term rental legislation and what its impact would be on any local law,” Tedisco’s office said in an email.

The county currently collects a 1% bed tax, while the city collects a 6% tax, against hotels and bed and breakfasts. Of the city’s 6%, 2% each goes to the Saratoga Springs City Center and Discover Saratoga and another 1% each goes to the city and the county.

Moran had also been hashing out details for a local law that would require people to register short-term rentals in the city, but has since said he will let the state handle that process.

However, short-term rental owners would need to get their license from the city.

“It’s going to be a nominal fee for the application for the license, like $50,” Moran said. “So there’s going to be three different categories. There’s primary residence, non-primary residence, and commercial short-term rental. They’re all going to have a slightly different fee, with the lowest fee being for primary residence.”

Short-term rental owners would also be subject to a fire inspection, which is part of the state law and would also have a fee. That fee is currently being worked out with the Public Safety Department, Moran said.

Moran said an update on the city’s law will be coming within a couple weeks.

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