New York state issues
Counsel's Report - NYS Legislature End of Session Report (July 2017)
Text of Bill S5878 introduced by Senator Funke on Short-Term Rentals
Email From Mark Dorr, NYSH&TA President on Bill S5878
Matching Grants Funding:
The Final Enacted Budget included $4,408,000 for Tourism Matching Grants, a $593,000 increase over the Governor’s Executive Budget Proposal. While this increase is slightly smaller than last year’s Budget, NYSH&TA is pleased with the result in a tough fiscal year. The Tourism Matching Grant program is a local assistance program that is utilized by the county and regional tourism entities to work in conjunction for advertising, research, promotion and tourism marketing programs. Further, the program leverages private investment, as every dollar expended will be matched by an industry participant to promote, market, and provide jobs across New York. The Tourism Matching Grants Program has been a significant revenue source and job creator for State and local governments, which has been a critical investment in the tourism industry.
Other Budget Funding:
The ride-sharing fee for companies such as Uber and Lyft in Upstate New York that was discussed as part of the Budget was not ultimately included.
Hotel Liquor License:
As part of his Executive Budget Proposal, Governor Cuomo included language that would change the definition of a hotel under the NYS Alcoholic Beverage Control Law to eliminate the requirement for hotels to have a restaurant in the building of a hotel. This proposal would allow hotels with just a “market” or “suite shop” in the lobby to obtain a hotel liquor license in New York. NYSH&TA worked continuously throughout the Budget process toward the inclusion of this language, but unfortunately, the language was not included in the Final Enacted Budget. We would like to thank those members in the Buffalo and Rochester Regions who participated in a grassroots effort to push their Assemblymembers toward the inclusion of this language. While we are disappointed in the result, we are already working to fix this issue legislatively. We have had ongoing discussions on a solution with both houses of the Legislature, and are hopeful that we can come to a resolution this year.
During the 2018 Legislative Session, NYSH&TA worked with both the Senate and Assembly to improve our proposed in short-term rental legislation. The legislation, S.5978 –A (Funke)/ A.8065-A (Fahy), was amended in both houses in March. The legislation would:
Seasonal Worker Tax Credit
NYSH&TA is supportive of legislation that would expand the minimum wage reimbursement tax credit to employers that hire seasonal employees for 90 days or less. The legislation, S.4508 (Funke)/ A.6829 (Gunther), would help to offset the effects of the recent statewide increase to the minimum wage, and should help some employers to maintain their workforce. The Senate bill passed in 2017, but it is currently still in the Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee. In the Assembly, the bill remains in the Ways and Means Committee.
Bed and Breakfast Liquor Licensing
NYSH&TA is supportive of legislation that would allow bed and breakfasts to obtain full liquor licenses in New York, which would put bed and breakfasts on even footing with hotels and motels. S.6276-A (Funke)/ A.8479 (Zebrowski) would further remove the restriction on bed and breakfasts that allows them to sell alcoholic beverages only to people staying at the bed and breakfast. The bill passed the Senate in 2017 and 2018, and was included in the Senate’s One-House Budget proposal in 2018, but it was not ultimately included in the Final Budget. In the Assembly, the bill has not been referred out of the Assembly Economic Development Committee. We will continue to be supportive of this legislation moving forward.
Human Trafficking Legislation
NYSH&TA has been working with the Senate and Assembly on legislation that would require hotels and motels to provide training to employees in recognizing the signs of human trafficking. A.6834-B (Paulin) passed the Assembly last week. The Senate version, S.5955-B (Hamilton), remains in Committee. While NYSH&TA is supportive of the intent of this legislation, we are working to ensure that hotels with similar trainings already in place would comply with the proposal. We are currently working to ensure that the Statute would not create a civil right of action against hotels or motels that do not come into compliance with the proposed requirements immediately.