ARMONK, N.Y. -- A proposed three percent occupancy tax in North Castle has angered hotel owners.
The board unanimously passed the occupancy tax on Feb. 12 and it needs the approval of the state Legislature before it can go into effect. Last year, a similar tax passed by the town was not approved by the state.
The town expects it would collect $80,000 from the tax, which would impact the La Quinta on Business Park Drive, North Castle's only hotel.
Supervisor Michael Schiliro said in The Examiner there are only so many revenue streams for municipalities and that people who stay in the La Quinta use town services like roads.
David Leftwich, vice president of the Westchester Hotels Association and general manager of Dolce Hotels and Resorts, expressed his opposition to the tax calling it unfair.
"La Quinta is only hotel in the Town of North Castle that will be fully responsible for this tax," Leftwich said. " The majority of the tax is paid by the businesses in the local community that use the hotel for business travel and meetings."
Leftwich said hotels are still reeling from the economic recession and have yet to recover. Hotels in Westchester have had to layoff employees, reduce hours and wages and reduce costs, Leftwich said.
"Adding three percent to the cost of a single room night may seem insignificant," Leftwich said. "However. adding three percent to the cost of a company’s lodging expenses can only [be an incentive for] them to take their business elsewhere."
Leftwich said the Westchester Hotel Association believes an occupancy tax will only add to the county's reputation for being the highest tax county in the country.
"We feel this tax is not in the best interest of our business partners, owners and employees and unfairly, targets our industry," Leftwich said.
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