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HOTEL INDUSTRY URGES NEW YORK STATE LEGISLATURE TO REPEAL HOTEL TAX NOW

 NEW YORK, April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- "We urge the State Legislature to repeal the hotel tax NOW!," said Joseph E. Spinnato, president of the Hotel Association of New York City. "The exclusion of its repeal from the state budget is a serious blow to our industry and it cannot be ignored. Since every state legislator with whom we have spoken has agreed that this tax adversely affects the tourism industry, we NOW are calling upon them to ACT BY REPEALING THIS TAX. In the State Legislature," Spinnato continued, "Senator Sheffer and Assemblyman Pillittere have proposed two different bills that call for the repeal of this onerous tax. It's essential that one of these bills be passed NOW because either bill will afford our industry the opportunity to immediately begin marketing to bring back our convention business which is booked 4 to 6 years in advance."
 "The Professional Convention Planners Association who book millions of room nights annually has committed to removing the embargo on booking conventions in New York if this tax is repealed. This gives us an immediate guarantee of convention business which we have lost due to this tax."
 Neither of the proposed bills will have any affect on this year's budget. The bills proposed are: One bill (Senate 1873/Assembly 3273) calls for the repeal of the 5 percent hotel occupancy tax effective April 1, 1994. The other bill (Senate 1872/Assembly 3274) repeals the tax on April 1, 1996, but provides for an incremental decrease in the rate so that from April 1, 1994 until March 31, 1995, the tax rate will be 3 percent from April 1, 1995 until March 31, 1996, the tax rate will be 1 percent and on April 1, 1996, the entire Tax Section 1104 will be repealed.
 A recent study of the effects of the NYS hotel tax showed that New Yorkers have been hit the hardest by New York State hotel tax and overall state tax revenues are actually reduced by the new state hotel occupancy tax passed in June 1990. Charles W. de Seve, Ph.D., president of the American Economics Group who conducted this study said, "This study showed that New York State and its local governments net overnight tourism tax loss in 1992 is $94.4 million and by 1996 this will grow to $99.1 million annually."
 Vito Pitta, president of Local 6 and the Hotel Motel Trades Council, stated, "The state must respond to the unemployment crisis that this hotel occupancy tax has created. Hotel employment in New York City is down about 15.2 percent since 1989. However, the full impact is far greater because of the additional sharp cutbacks in average hours worked per employee. Two thousand of these 6,000 lost jobs are caused by the additional state occupancy tax." Another 6,000 New York City jobs in other industries dependent upon tourism and hotel purchases are lost as well. This tax has hurt both union and non-union workers and their families who cannot expect to replace their lost income.
 The American Economics Group, Inc. is an independent firm of professional economists which serves clients in business, government and the legal profession. The study they conducted was commissioned by the Hotel Association of New York City, the New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association, The New York Convention & Visitors Bureau, the New York Society of Association Executives, the New York Partnership, the New York Chamber of Commerce, the New York State Restaurant Association and the American Hotel & Motel Association participated in this study and are in support of efforts to repeal this tax.
 The Hotel Association of New York City, established in 1878, is one of the nation's oldest trade associations representing more than 100 of the city's finest hotels. The $5 billion dollar industry employs more than 30,000 people and provides more than 60,000 rooms to visitors.
 Hotel Tax Breakdown
 5 percent NYS Occupancy Tax going to general funds effective, June 1, 1990.
 1 percent NYC Tax with 25 percent going to funding the NYC&VB effective, Sept. 1, 1990
 5 percent NYC Occupancy Tax going to general funds.
 8-1/4 sales tax with 4 percent going to State and 4-1/4 going to NYC
 $2.00 room tax per night.
 To receive a copy of the tax study "The Destructive Impact of New York State's Hotel Occupancy Tax and Travel Promotion Cutbacks," please contact:
 Chris Godek, or Patty Lisa of Berman/Godek Communications, 160 East 56th St., 7th floor, New York, N.Y. 10022, 212-832-8858.
 -0- 4/1/93
 /CONTACT: Chris Godek or Patty Lisa of Berman/Godek Communications, 212-832-8858, for Hotel Association of NYC/


CO: Hotel Association of New York City ST: New York IN: LEI SU:

TM-KW -- NY121 -- 2305 04/01/93 18:28 EST
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Date:Apr 1, 1993
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