Sullivan County suspends portion of room tax collections


MONTICELLO – Sullivan County Manager Joshua Potosek has issued an executive order to temporarily halt the collection of the bulk of room taxes. His decision was in consultation with the Sullivan County Visitors Association.

A tax of five percent per that night’s room rate is levied on all lodging rentals in Sullivan County, but under the order, the collection of 85 percent of that tax will be suspended for the next month, until April 16. That 85 percent goes to the SCVA, while the remaining 15 percent is remitted to the county for administrative costs.

“Our lodging establishments are dealing with an extraordinary loss of their entire business, and it’s unfair to expect them to continue paying taxes on rooms they no longer can rent out,” Potosek said.

“My office collects these taxes, so I worked closely with the county manager and county attorney to help out our hard-hit hospitality industry,” said County Treasurer Nancy Buck. “I agree that this is prudent and beneficial at this time.”

“On behalf of its membership and the entire local tourism industry, the SCVA thanks the county for taking this step,” said Foster Supply Hospitality owner Sims Foster, chairman of the SCVA Board and a hotelier himself. “Our industry is one of the pillars of Sullivan County’s economy, and this will enable us to remain so as we see our way clear of this sudden calamity.”

“Our Sullivan Catskills businesses employ thousands of county residents and contributed $34.6 million in local taxes to our economy this past year,” noted SCVA President/CEO Roberta Byron-Lockwood. “But we rely on something that right now is not prudent for people to do: come visit. We look forward to returning to the travel marketplace and welcoming everyone back to our Sullivan Catskills as soon as safely possible, but until that time, our many lodging businesses appreciate having extra time to remit their room taxes.”  

  “This measure provides immediate relief to our businesses, without burdening our taxpayers,” said Legislature Chairman Robert Doherty. “We won’t lose revenue by delaying tax payments, and our hotels, motels, and B&Bs will have a fighting chance to recover from this situation.”