Albany, NY…The State Legislature passed 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. The bills (S4717A and S8064) were requested by the municipalities and enable them to establish a bed tax for hotels and B&Bs.
The Governor vetoed the Wallkill bill last year, but given the fiscal hardship facing communities as a result of the pandemic, there is renewed urgency to find additional sources of revenue. 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.
“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, they should have this tool in their tool box if they want it, especially if it helps the local taxpayers."
City of 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 allows our city to build, improve and attract visitors who may become residents to our small city on the banks of the Delaware. We ‘Thank’ our state legislative leaders for passing this measure recognizing our growth potential and we hope the governor agrees.”
Town of Wallkill Supervisor Frank DenDanto said, “We at the town of Wallkill are so very thankful to the Senator for championing our cause for a hotel levy for a second time. Now, more than ever, with the fiscal crisis due to Covid, the town needs the opportunity that other areas in the state benefit from. With the Governor’s signature, the town may be spared some of the real pain many municipalities are feeling. Our hope is that the Governor will see his way to understand that, in these times, any opportunity to lighten the burden to the residents of our community constitutes a real lifeline. It is because of Senator Metzger and Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther that there is hope for Wallkill.”
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.