1202-s. Hotel or motel taxes in Essex county. (1) Notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary, the county of Essex is hereby authorized and empowered to adopt and amend local laws imposing in such county a tax, in addition to any other tax authorized and imposed pursuant to this article such as the board of supervisors has or would have the power and authority to impose upon persons occupying hotel or motel rooms in such county. For the purposes of this section, the term "hotel" or "motel" shall mean and include any facility providing lodging on an overnight basis and shall include those facilities designated and commonly known as "bed and breakfast" and "tourist" facilities.
The rates of such tax shall not exceed three percent of the per diem rental rate for each room, provided however, that such tax shall not be applicable to a permanent resident of a hotel or motel. For the purposes of this section the term "permanent resident" shall mean a person occupying any room or rooms in a hotel or motel for at least thirty consecutive days.
(2) Each enactment of such a local law may provide for the imposition of a hotel or motel tax for a period of time no longer than three years from the date of its enactment. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the adoption and enactment of local laws, pursuant to the provisions of this section, continuing or imposing such a tax after the expiration of a previous local law adopted pursuant to this section.
(3) Such tax may be collected and administered by the county treasurer or other fiscal officers of Essex county by such means and in such manner as other taxes which are now collected and administered by such officers or as otherwise may be provided by such local law.
(4) Such local laws may provide that any tax imposed shall be paid by the person liable therefor to the owner of the hotel or motel room occupied or to the person entitled to be paid the rent or charge for the hotel or motel room occupied for and on account of the county of Essex imposing the tax and that such owner or person entitled to be paid the rent or charge shall be liable for the collection and payment of the tax; and that such owner or person entitled to be paid the rent or charge shall have the same right in respect to collecting the tax from the person occupying the hotel or motel room, or in respect to nonpayment of the tax by the person occupying the hotel or motel room, as if the tax were a part of the rent or charge and payable at the same time as the rent or charge; provided, however, that the county treasurer or other fiscal officers of the county, specified in such local law, shall be joined as a party in any action or proceeding brought to collect the tax by the owner or by the person entitled to be paid the rent or charge.
(5) Such local laws may provide for the filing of returns and the payment of the tax on a monthly basis or on the basis of any longer or shorter period of time.
(6) This section shall not authorize the imposition of such tax upon any transaction, by or with any of the following in accordance with section twelve hundred thirty of this article:
a. The state of New York, or any public corporation (including a public corporation created pursuant to agreement or compact with another state or the Dominion of Canada), improvement district or other political subdivision of the state;
b. The United States of America, insofar as it is immune from taxation;
c. Any corporation or association, or trust, or community chest, fund or foundation organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable or educational purposes, or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, and no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual and no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation; provided, however, that nothing in this paragraph shall include an organization operated for the primary purpose of carrying on a trade or business for profit, whether or not all of its profits are payable to one or more organizations described in this paragraph.
(7) Any final determination of the amount of any tax payable pursuant to this section shall be reviewable for error, illegality or unconstitutionality or any other reason whatsoever by a proceeding under article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules if application therefor is made to the supreme court within thirty days after the giving of the notice of such final determination, provided, however, that any such proceeding under article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules shall not be instituted unless:
a. The amount of any tax sought to be reviewed, with such interest and penalties thereon as may be provided for by local law or regulation shall be first deposited and there is filed an undertaking, issued by a surety company authorized to transact business in this state and approved by the superintendent of financial services of this state as to solvency and responsibility, in such amount as a justice of the supreme court shall approve to the effect that if such proceeding be dismissed or the tax confirmed the petitioner will pay all costs and charges which may accrue in the prosecution of such proceeding; or
b. At the option of the petitioner such undertaking may be in a sum sufficient to cover the taxes, interests and penalties stated in such determination plus the costs and charges which may accrue against it in the prosecution of the proceeding, in which event the petitioner shall not be required to pay such taxes, interest or penalties as a condition precedent to the application.
(8) Where any tax imposed pursuant to this section shall have been erroneously, illegally or unconstitutionally collected and application for the refund thereof duly made to the proper fiscal officer or officers, and such officer or officers shall have made a determination denying such refund, such determination shall be reviewable by a proceeding under article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules, provided, however, that such proceeding is instituted within thirty days after the giving of the notice of such denial, that a final determination of tax due was not previously made, and that an undertaking is filed with the proper fiscal officer or officers in such amount and with such sureties as a justice of the supreme court shall approve to the effect that if such proceeding be dismissed or the tax confirmed, the petitioner will pay all costs and charges which may accrue in the prosecution of such proceeding.
(9) Except in the case of a wilfully false or fraudulent return with intent to evade the tax, no assessment of additional tax shall be made after the expiration of more than three years from the date of the filing of a return, provided, however, that where no return has been filed as provided by law the tax may be assessed at any time.
(10) All revenues resulting from the imposition of the tax under the local laws shall be paid into the treasury of the county of Essex and shall be credited and deposited into a special tourism development and promotion fund, thereafter to be allocated for publicizing the advantages of the county of Essex pursuant to subdivision fourteen of section two hundred twenty-four of the county law; provided, however, that such local laws shall provide that the county shall:
a. be authorized to retain up to a maximum of five percent of such revenue to defer the necessary expenses of the county in administering such tax;
b. endeavor to expend the revenues in such fund in a manner reasonably intended to publicize the areas within the county of Essex commensurate with the amount of revenues generated from such areas; and
c. contract with the Lake Placid-Essex county visitors bureau, for the expenditure of the revenues in such fund pursuant to subdivision fourteen of section two hundred twenty-four of the county law, provided however that the county of Essex may terminate such contract and/or enter into other contracts in the event that the Lake Placid-Essex county visitors bureau dissolves or in the determination of the board of supervisors of the county of Essex after public hearing ceases to adequately perform such contract.
(11) If any provision of this section or the application thereof to any person or circumstance shall be held invalid, the remainder of this section and the application of such provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.
Last modified: September 11, 2016