Sunday, December 13, 2009

HOTEL TAX COULD REDUCE TAXES...WATERWHEEL SALE POSSIBILITY: TUESDAY

On Tuesday the Greenburgh Town Board will be voting on a resolution that will ask the NYS Legislature to grant Greenburgh permission to impose a hotel tax on guests. This could generate significant revenue to the town (probably in the six figures) and help bring down your taxes. The NYS Legislature has previously granted cities in Westchester (some smaller in population than Greenburgh) permission to tax hotel guests. Councilman Francis Sheehan prepared the following chart which helps justify the Town of Greenburgh being granted the right to impose a hotel/motel tax. You may click on any of the hyperlinks to see the enabling NYS legislation adopted for each of the 38 counties granted that right. We are larger (in population) than 50% of the counties that have been allowed to collect the tax. Even though no Town has been granted that right, we think our size helps justify an exception.
There are two options that the state could consider: option 1) authorizing the town to impose a hotel tax on the uincorporated section of Greenburgh. Villages could have their own hotel tax and would generate revenue for their village operations. Ardsley, Tarrytown & Elmsford have hotels within their borders. 2) The state could grant the town permission to have a hotel tax for the entire town—with revenues going to the “A” budget—which would reduce taxes in the villages/unincorporated section of town.

The Town Board will receive bids from developers interested in purchasing the waterwheel property in Ardsley tomorrow by noon. The Board will discuss the bids on Tuesday and will decide which developer is offering the town the best deal (non refundable deposit, purchase price). The developer will be selected Tuesday and must comply with Ardsley’s zoning code –which now requires some affordable housing to be built (goal is to build affordable housing for volunteer firefighters/ambulance corp members). The Board will discuss at 9:15 AM Tuesday.
PAUL FEINER


COMPARISON OF TOWN OF GREENBURGH TO
COUNTIES GRANTED HOTEL AND/OR MOTEL TAX ENABLING LEGISLATION

ENABLING LEGISLATION COUNTY POPULATION
1 New York Tax Law Section 1202-I
Schuyler County 18,888 COUNTIES WITH POPULATIONS
LESS THAN TOWN OF GREENBURGH
2 New York Tax Law Section 1202-V
Lewis County 26,176
3 New York Tax Law Section 1202-O*4
Seneca County 34,086
4 New York Tax Law Section 1202-S
Essex County 37,826
5 New York Tax Law Section 1202-W
Wyoming County 41,652
6 New York Tax Law Section 1202-U**
Orleans County 42,135
7 New York Tax Law Section 1202-G
Cortland County 48,302
8 New York Tax Law Section 1202-K
Montgomery County 48,679
9 New York Tax Law Section 1202-U
Allegany County 49,649
10 New York Tax Law Section 1202-O
Tioga County 50,171
11 New York Tax Law Section 1202-R
Genesee County 57,821
12 New York Tax Law Section 1202-J
Otsego County 61,962
13 New York Tax Law Section 1202-M
Livingston County 63,154
14 New York Tax Law Section 1202-U*
Warren County 65,971
15 New York Tax Law Section 1202-P
Madison County 69,766
16 New York Tax Law Section 1202-J*
Sullivan County 76,189
17 New York Tax Law Section 1202-U***
Cattaraugus County 79,688
18 New York Tax Law Section 1202-Q*
Cayuga County 79,823
19 New York Tax Law Section 1202-H
Chemung County 87,813
TOWN OF GREENBURGH
Enabling Legislation Requested 89,840
20 New York Tax Law Section 1202-G**
Steuben County 96,573 COUNTIES WITH POPULATIONS
GREATER THAN TOWN OF GREENBURGH
21 New York Tax Law Section 1202-F
Tompkins County 101,136
22 New York Tax Law Section 1202-T*
Ontario County 104,475
23 New York Tax Law Section 1202-L**
St. Lawrence County 109,701
24 New York Tax Law Section 1202-C
Jefferson County 118,046
25 New York Tax Law Section 1202-H*
Oswego County 121,395
26 New York Tax Law Section 1202-J**
Chautauqua County 133,789
27 New York Tax Law Section 1202-E
Schenectady County 151,427
28 New York Tax Law Section 1202-N
Rensselaer County 155,261
29 New York Tax Law Section 1202-L
Ulster County 181,670
30 New York Tax Law Section 1202-B
Broome County 195,018
31 New York Tax Law Section 1202-T
Niagara County 214,464
32 New York Tax Law Section 1202-G*
Saratoga County 217,191
33 New York Tax Law Section 1202-D
Oneida County 231,590
34 New York Tax Law Section 1202-K*
Rockland County 298,545
35 New York Tax Law Section 1202-A
Onondaga County 452,633
36 New York Tax Law Section 1202-G***
Westchester County 953,943
37 New York Tax Law Section
38 New York Tax Law Section 1202-O*2
Suffolk County 1,512,224

1202-Q
Nassau County 1,351,625

5 comments:

Michael Kolesar said...

The Supervisor writes " This could generate significant revenue to the town (probably in the six figures) and help bring down your taxes."

Question(s): What are you assumptions / facts / data in support of this statement? I will have many, many more questions once you share with the public the details, if you dare to. Why is this a good deal for the three villages and or why is this good for unincorporated Greenburgh? Which are you recommending: a Town wide tax or a tax only on the establishments located in unincorporated Greenburgh and why?

Re the Waterwheel: the Supervisor wrote "The Town Board will receive bids from developers interested in purchasing the waterwheel property in Ardsley tomorrow by noon. The Board will discuss the bids on Tuesday and will decide which developer is offering the town the best deal (non refundable deposit, purchase price). "

Who is going to evaluate any multiple offers and what are the criteria? For example, suppose there are three offers. One for 100% payment of the minimum "day 1", one with 10% down, and additional 40% in one year and the balance after site plan approval, with a total price of $1.4 million and a third with 10% down and the balance after site plan approvals for $ 1.55 million. First, can you have a sale of a government asset where the buyers name their own terms? (Oops I forgot, if the Supervisor doesn't like a state law, he feels free to violate it.) Are we trusting the financial "wunderkinds" of the Town Board to do the financial calculations? Which of the above would you take and why?

Let's see if we, the tax payers, get any answers. Given the Supervisor's inability or unwillingness to answer our questions about the 2010 budget, don't hold your breath.

Txpayer said...

Will a hotel tax result in less profit to hotels? Will that result in less property tax?

klondike bar said...

has anyone on the town board discussed this proposed tax with our local hotel owners/operators?

hal samis said...

Written comment #3 to Public Hearing on the 2010 Town Budget. You know, the Budget that the Town Board says that it is trying so hard not to waste taxpayer's money.

In this written comment, I am focusing on the $94,000 budgeted just to run the the administative and instructional operation of the tennis courts. I am not including any of the maintenance expenses.

With tennis usage declining, the Town need not continue to flush money down the toilet in these harsh times. Even if it means taking money away from the wife of one of the Town Supervisor's staunchest supporters. NOTE: THE SUPERVISOR REPRESENTS THAT THE COMMENT ABOUT THIS IS NOT ACCURATE -- I am willing to withdraw the allegation and apologize if he is willing to eliminate the budget lines.

Fact is, the whole idea behind Sportime taking over the tennis operation was to provide money for the costly physical upkeep and to take a money loser off the Town's hands.

Fact is, other than the ongoing capital and maintenance outlays (the Town still wants to provide Tennis), the Town can enjoy the same level of tennis operations without spending an unnecessary dollar to do so. All the Town has to do is "privatize" the operation. In return for checking permits, the Town can turn over the administration and instruction to the "former" instructors during the most popular hours. In return for checking permits, the instructors can use, at no cost to themselves, the Town's tennis courts for teaching purposes. The only difference would be that the Town would no longer have to lay out $94,000 and those seeking instruction would deal directly with the instructors who would charge a "going" rate which they would collect.

Not unlike how tennis and the golf driving range is handled at private country clubs. Let the pros run the courts; let them handle the operation and in return they profit from selling lessons.

free use of tennis courts/no salaries/tennis lessons continue =
WIN WIN WIN.

Town saves at least $45,000 and doesn't have to be in the business of selling private tennis lessons.

At the very worst case; have no one at the tennis courts, leave the door open and whoever wants to use the courts for play just waits for a free court...the same thing that happens at unattended school tennis courts when school is out.

The Town does not have to be in the business of providing tennis lessons.

Savings so far:
elimination of Arts "Council" $54,530
reduction in gas, grease and oil (Police) at least $20,000
removal of the Town from tennis obligations at least $45,000

let's roll the dice again and see what comes up...

hal samis said...

Here's #8 which essentially questions why the Town has made severe cuts in this allocation.

Note that on the Town Board's savings side, repair of roads (page 98 line 472.0) that the amount allocated for this essential operation has declined from $176,450 in 2009 to $100,000 for 2010.

In this department $100,000 doesn't go a long way and not only does the issue of facing a greater cost in the future from postponing needed repairs today come to mind but also the potential for creating life threatening hazards if needed repairs are not made.

At the same time, although I can't point with certainty at this writing, I believe the Town had applied for and received a grant to build sidewalks along Route 9? and fill in gaps along Tarrytown Road. It is my recollection that acceptance of these grants invoked some lesser "matching" Town commitment. The question then is: are sidewalks part of this budget line as there is purportedly no capital budget being presented and/or is the Town able to fund its grant required match? if so where in the Budget does this allocation come from?

Recap:
#1 Arts Council, $54,530
#2 Police GG&O, $20,000+
#3 Town Park tennis, net $45,000+
#4 Town Clerk stipends, $15,700
#5 Purchasing conferences ($0 existing not $4100 charge; removed due to my error)
#6 Town Court elimination of 1 assistant clerk, $44,000+
#7 Animal Control wild animal contract, $32,200
#8 Highways proposed increase for road repairs $ ?