MALONE — Seven community members have been named to a committee to study a bed tax for Franklin County.
Each legislator selected a representative to look at how creating an occupancy tax would work, how compliance would be tracked, how the collected money would be spent and by whom.
The county intends to ask the State Legislature for permission to initiate the fee, which can range from 2 to 5 percent, if approved.
Clinton and Essex counties each collect a 3-percent bed tax.
Named to the committee were:
Lesley Lyon, commissioner of Social Services and a bed-and-breakfast owner.
Neil Seymour, former director of the Franklin County Tourism office.
Chris LaBarge, Branch Development Corp., owner of the Holiday Inn Express, Malone.
Bruce Monette, of Adirondack Energy family of companies and Titus Mountain Family Ski Center, Malone.
Dan Dew Jr., owner of the Timber Lodge, Tupper Lake.
Warren Goggins, former BOCES superintendent.
Ernest Holmeyer, owner of Mountain Community Vision consulting.
Chamber of Commerce officials in the tri-county region estimate the added tax on overnight stays could generate $300,000 to $400,000 a year, but estimates from the County Treasurer’s Office that take into account administrative costs are much lower, at $25,000.
The chamber alliance wants the money spent exclusively on tourism-related improvements and investments, and legislators have said they agree.
But it will be up to the committee to make a recommendation once its research is concluded.
A recommendation is needed by the end of the year if the County Legislature is going to approach the State Legislature for permission by the time it convenes in January.
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