The Business Council supports A.2928 (Fahy), which would regulate short-term rentals of private dwellings outside of New York City by imposing the same taxes and fees that hotels must pay to the state. Additionally, it provides additional safety measures that must be provided to guests of these businesses.
The memorandum of support for this bill states, “Short-term rental units are largely unregulated in New York. As personal homes and apartments, the units are not held to the same occupancy and sales tax requirements or fire and safety regulations as hotels, motels, or bed and breakfasts.”
During this time, it has never been more important to move toward a fairer and more equitable taxation policy. As customers shift from traditional lodging choices to short-term rentals, taxes collected by localities is crucial to providing the basic goods and services that people need. Occupancy and sales taxes are important to much-needed revenue that will provide greater flexibility. Creating a tax system that is fair and equitable for both parties is in the state’s best interest. In this instance, by imposing the same tax and fee structure, it would not only ensure equity amongst all hospitality providers, but it also level the playing field by providing tax fairness.
The legislation also imposes additional protections to guests to ensure their safety. Under the bill short-term residential units must register with the Department of State for a 2-year period and provide an evacuation diagram, fire extinguisher and emergency phone numbers. This provides a proportionate adherence to the safety code requirements that hotels must abide by.
Contributing tax revenue to support important public services throughout New York should be a priority which can lead to economic equality. Other platforms that provide lodging to travelers should have the same obligation as traditional hospitality providers. Trending data in the travel industry reveals that travelers are seeking socially distant excursions where hotels have paid the price. The equity that comes forth from this bill related to taxes and safety benefits all New Yorkers and for these reasons, The Business Council supports A.2928 (Fahy).