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Lemondes Opposes Hotel Occupancy Tax for Auburn


State Assemblyman John Lemondes is opposing Auburn’s efforts for a Hotel Occupancy tax.

Citing the potential impact the tax would have on the local tourism industry he is advocating the state not authorize Auburn to institute an up to 5% tax on hotel or short-term rental stays.

“After meeting with numerous constituents and Auburn residents, I do not believe the state should authorize this tax,” said Lemondes. “The last thing we want to do is increase costs for visitors, which will, in turn, decrease revenue for vital industries such as tourism. Cayuga County already has its own hotel occupancy tax, which Auburn should be able to have a share in. I will continue to work with state and local officials to make sure localities have the funds they need but we must be conscious of consumers and the impact another tax will have on local businesses.”

While the county does collect its own 5% hotel occupancy tax, that money goes to county tourism. Auburn had requested that the county share a portion of the tax collected within city limits with it so it could support its historic and cultural sites; however, the county legislature did not do so when it voted to renew its hotel occupancy tax in April.

It had been estimated that the 5% tax would have generated $500,000 in revenue for the city every year.

Back in December, the city sent letters to Lemondes and State Senator Rachel May asking them to start the home rule legislation process required to implement the tax.

While State Senator Rachel May introduced the legislation in the state senate in January, Lemondes did not. In March, he held a public hearing at Auburn City Hall and urged residents to share their opinions on the proposed tax with him.

With Lemondes’ opposition, the future of any such tax remains unclear.

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