More bed tax hearings set in Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake

MALONE – Franklin County legislators set another round of hearings on the bed tax to be held in April.

They scheduled a hearing in Saranac Lake at the Harrietstown Town Hall for Wednesday, April 10, at 5 p.m., then one in Tupper Lake at the village offices for 7 p.m. the same day.

During the last round of hearings, legislators only scheduled an hour for the one in Tupper Lake before they had to leave for Saranac Lake, and several motel owners who showed up were angry they weren’t given enough time to fully air their concerns. So legislators last week decided to hold that hearing second so they could take as much time as needed.

A number of people showed up to the hearing in Tupper Lake in January, while only two came to the one later in Saranac Lake. Saranac Lake’s representative on the county Board of Legislators, Tim Burpoe, said at last week’s meeting of the county board that he believes there will be more at the next one.

The board also scheduled a hearing for Malone at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 18.

A number of people made suggestions at the last round of hearings, and legislators have made several changes to the proposed law since then.

“I think we all feel it has substantially changed,” Burpoe said.

The law would charge a 5 percent tax on hotel, motel and other lodging stays in the county, with the money being used to promote tourism here.

Legislator Paul Maroun, R-Tupper Lake, said he plans to meet with the 12 motel owners in his town privately before the Tupper Lake hearing.

Legislators said last week they have to revise the copy of the bed tax bill that is posted on the main page of the county’s website:

Legislators made a few changes to the bill in the last few weeks, including putting nine people on its new advisory committee rather than a seven. Any changes made directly after the last round of hearings have already been included in it.