Port Jervis, Wallkill get OK to impose room tax

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ALBANY – The City of Port Jervis and Town of Wallkill have both received approvals to establish a room tax as the governor has signed legislation sponsored by Senator Jen Metzger (D, Rosendale).

The tax will apply to visitors to hotels and B&Bs in both municipalities.

“This is about home rule, and letting local governments decide how best to meet the needs of their communities,” said 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.”

“While none of us likes taxes, in order for governments to operate and attract visitors, they must have revenue to improve and maintain the attraction,” said Port Jervis Mayor Kelly Decker. “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.”

Wallkill Town Supervisor Frank DenDanto III said, “Now, more than ever, with the fiscal crisis due to COVID, a new revenue source like this means the difference between desperation and survival.”

He said 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.”