Albany, NY…Two local bills introduced by Senator Jen Metzger (SD-42) to increase revenue for the City of Port Jervis and Town of Wallkill without increasing the local property tax burden were signed into law last evening. The bills (S4717A and S8064) were requested by the municipalities and enable them to establish a bed tax for hotels and B&Bs. They are the Senator’s 32nd and 33rd bills signed into law since taking office, respectively.
Given the fiscal hardship facing communities as a result of the pandemic, there is renewed urgency to find additional sources of revenue for many small towns and cities and Senator Metzger was pleased to see both bills signed. The Wallkill Town Board and the City of Port Jervis Common Council both voted unanimously to provide the required home rule message for the bills' passage in the State Legislature. The Wallkill bill had been introduced the previous year, as well, but had been vetoed by the Governor.
“This is about home rule, and letting local governments decide how best to meet the needs of their communities," said Senator Jen Metzger. "At a time when local governments are struggling with significant revenue shortfalls as a result of the pandemic and its impact on the economy, I am glad that two municipalities in my district will now have the tools they need to help lessen the burden on local taxpayers.”
Town of Wallkill Supervisor Frank DenDanto III said, “We at the town of Wallkill are ecstatic with the Governor’s signing of the Hotel Tax Bill Yesterday. I am personally thankful to the Senator for championing our cause over two hard fought years. Now, more than ever, with the fiscal crisis due to Covid, a new revenue source like this means the difference between desperation and survival. With the Governor’s signature on the Senator's bill, the town has been spared some of the real pain many municipalities like ours face. In these times, any opportunity to lighten the burden to the residents of our community constitutes a real lifeline. It is because Senator Metzger and Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther that there is hope for Wallkill.”
Port Jervis Mayor Kelly Decker said, “While none of us like taxes, in order for a government to operate and attract visitors they must have revenue to improve and maintain the attraction. As our city begins to flourish with tourism in hiking, biking, rafting, kayaking, fishing and more; a small occupancy fee will allow Port Jervis to build, improve and attract visitors who may become residents to our small city on the banks of the Delaware. We thank Senator Jen Metzger for passing this measure recognizing our growth potential and getting it signed it into law by the governor.”
Jen Metzger represents the 42nd Senate District, which includes all of Sullivan County and parts of Delaware, Orange, and Ulster Counties. Senator Metzger serves as Chair of the Agriculture Committee and sits on the Environmental Conservation, Education, Health, Energy and Telecommunications, Local Government, Women’s Issues, Domestic Animal Welfare, and Legislative Commission on Rural Resources Committees.