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NEW YORK CONTINUES TO LOSE TOURISM JOBS AND MONEY BY STATE LEGISLATURE'S INACTION ON HOTEL TAX

 NEW YORK, July 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The Hotel Association of New York City (HANYC) today released the following:
 "Another year of severe economic hardship faces the New York tourism industry," according to Joseph E. Spinnato, president of the Hotel Association of New York City, "because the New York State Legislature failed to repeal the onerous hotel tax. As a result of this legislative inaction, our industry loses another year of marketing ability. Convention and meeting planners, such as the Professional Convention Management Association, have responded with outrage to the tax increase, some sending boycott notices to their members, swaying group decisions enough to move convention sites elsewhere.
 "Every state legislator with whom we have spoken," Spinnato continued, "has agreed that this tax is a folly. The failure on the part of the State Legislature to repeal this burdensome tax means that our industry cannot contribute to the state's economic vitality. We are determined to see this fight through to victory."
 According to a study conducted by Charles W. de Seve, Ph.D., president of the American Economics Group, "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 annual."
 Vito Pitta, president of Local 6 and the Hotel Motel Trades Council, stated, "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 New York City tourism industry has been dealt a severe blow when it comes to competing for tourism dollars, which pay for essential services that improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers. The devastating effect of this tax on the convention industry is still to be felt because of the long lead time for large convention planning -- significant numbers are booked four to six years ahead. Therefore, NYC hotels will feel even more devastating effects from the tax in the coming years," said Arthur A. Surin, chairman of the New York Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc., vice chair of HANYC and senior vice president, managing director of The New York Hilton and Towers.
 Legislative support for this tax arose from the misconception that it is easier to fill a $60 million budget gap by taxing tourists and business travelers. But the levy makes New York City the highest taxed destination in the country at $23.74 per night based on the average room rate compared to $7.67 in other major cities." In reality, as the American Economic Group study shows, the tax has weakened state tourism and put the industry, hotel employees and a broad range of other service providers in financial jeopardy and reduces other tax revenue by more than it collects.
 Seventeen major New York industries, in addition to hotels, are seriously harmed by the occupancy tax. These include eating and drinking places, transportation, apparel manufacturers, retail stores, theaters and amusement places, wholesale distributors, retail stores, and various personal and business services. Their employment and total tax payments are reduced by this 21.25 percent room 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 industry employs more than 30,000 people and provides more than 60,000 rooms to visitors.
 Hotel Tax Breakdown
 -- 5 percent state occupancy tax going to general funds
 -- 1 percent city tax with 1/4 percent going to funding the NYC&VB
 -- 5 percent NYC occupancy tax going to general funds
 -- 8-1/4 percent sales tax with 4 percent going to state and 4-1/4 percent going to city
 -- $2.00 room tax per night
 -0- 7/8/93
 /CONTACT: Chris Godek or Patty Lisa of Berman/Godek Communications, 212-832-8858, for the Hotel Association of New York City/


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

GK-LS -- NY066 -- 9573 07/08/93 14:27 EDT
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Date:Jul 8, 1993
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