Treasurer: New Warren County bed tax could bring $250,000 in new revenue

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WARREN COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Next Tuesday, Sept. 1, will mark the start of a new occupancy tax policy for short-term rentals in Warren County. The new policy will require occupancy tax payments to move directly from property owners, including those offering rentals through Airbnb.

The new policy will create around $250,000 in new tax revenue for the county, according to Warren County Treasurer Michael Swan. The tax rate for owners is 4 percent.

The county estimates the number of short-term rentals in the county to sit around 950. Their owners have until December 31 to register with the county to start making direct payments.

Occupancy tax, or bed tax, also encompasses hotel stays, as a way to increase government revenue with no additional impact on taxpayers.

The news first went out in July, giving owners 5 months to get registered. Owners are also being asked to start collecting tax on bookings made after Sept. 1, the hope being they will already be aware of that change by the time next month rolls around.

This isn’t the first amendment to the county law in recent years. Warren County first added short-term rentals to the roster of bed tax properties in 2018. The plan then was for major internet providers with services at those properties to collect the 4 percent bed tax through their own billing, and then send those funds to the county.

Swan said the problem was simple: Those internet providers didn’t respond to the county’s requests to collect the money.

“We worked on it for 18 months with no response,” Swan wrote in an email Tuesday. “So I decided to go directly to the property owners.”

Tax payments are expected quarterly to the treasurer’s office. There is no application fee.

Visit Warren County’s bed tax page for more info on how to register.

Swan’s office can be reached at (518) 761-6379. He can also be reached by email at swanm@warrencountyny.gov.

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