- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 29, 2015

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed plans to impose new hotel occupancy taxes in several small communities in Westchester and Orange counties, noting that so-called bed taxes are typically levied throughout an entire city or county, and not on a piecemeal village-by-village basis.

Officials in Port Chester, Tuckahoe, Woodbury and five other villages and towns had hoped to levy the taxes on hotel guests to raise revenue for local services. In most cases, the proposals would have capped the tax at 3 percent.

Cities and counties around the state currently impose varying taxes on overnight lodging. In an explanation of the veto, the Democratic governor wrote that he would oppose giving smaller communities the ability to levy their own taxes in the absence of a “comprehensive and determinative statewide policy.”

“If the Legislature sets such a policy, I will commit to reconsidering the issue,” Cuomo wrote.

State Sen. George Latimer, who sponsored five of the bills, says he is disappointed by the veto. The Westchester County Democrat said villages have to support the same kinds of government services as larger municipalities, and should therefore have the same ability to levy hotel taxes. He noted that the hotel tax was supported by local leaders in each of the villages seeking a tax.

“The differentiation between cities, towns and villages is arbitrary,” he said. “They’re still required to provide police and fire. They’re still required to provide sanitation.”

Latimer said he would push the legislation again in 2016, though he said he doubts Cuomo could be convinced.

“I don’t know what might change the governor’s mind in the future,” he said. “I don’t expect it to have any success.”

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