St. Lawrence County expands occupancy tax to include properties rented through Airbnb, similar services
By JIMMY LAWTON
CANTON – St. Lawrence County modified has expanded its occupancy tax law to include a wider array of lodging businesses.
The Legislature passed the law Monday.St. Lawrence County has been working to modernize its “room occupancy law” by including an often-overlooked model of lodging that has become popularized by services like Airbnb.
In St. Lawrence County roughly 80 properties are being rented through Airbnb, which allows people interested in renting out space to travelers to advertise via its app and website.
The proposed law requires operators of lodging facilities to collect a 3 percent tax from guests who rent space for temporary stays.
Historically the ”bed tax” targeted hotels and motels, but much like Uber changed the pay-to-ride industry, similar technology has made it easier for individuals to generate income by renting space to visitors.
The changes do not increase the 3 percent tax paid for temporary lodging, but rather the new law includes modern options that were previously left out.
St. Lawrence County charges the state allowed minimum. The goal of the change is to ensure everyone is paying their fair share, supporters said.
It is unclear how much revenue the county might expect to collect from the expanded law. The law was established in 1991 and had not been updated since 2004.