No Hotel Tax, Hotels Say
June 25th, 2008
Shocking — note: sarcasm — but the city’s hotel lobby is not too keen on raising taxes to restore cuts to the Department of Education.
A proposal to hike the hotel tax to 8 percent from 5 percent is wafting around City Hall — how much support it really has and whether or not it’s even on the negotiating table with the administration is unclear (some council members have never heard of it).
It’s discussed here in today’s Sun — it’s this tax issue and more that’s contributing to a budget impasse between the mayor and the City Council. (They need to agree by Monday — or else…)
A quick call to the city’s Hotel Association shows, however, the idea is far from universally accepted.
“The fact of the matter is any increase in the hotel tax jeopardizes the conventioneers coming to New York City,” said Peter Piscitelli, legislative consultant for the Hotel Association of New York City. “The mayor’s aim is to get 50 million visitors in New York. You’re not going to get that if you raise taxes.”
For weeks, since the release of the executive budget, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said tourism is keeping lady liberty’s head above the swelling economic tide. Piscitelli says a tax hike on hotels could send her under.
Any increase of more than a percent, said city budget officials, would also need approval from Albany. When the city decreased the hotel tax from 6 percent to 5 percent during the Giuliani administration in 1994, they left a small window open to increase it. Above that 6 percent, though, would need an OK from upstate.By Courtney Gross on June 25, 2008, 4:12 pm
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