Low and Moderate Income Housing Development Task Force

Monday, April 29, 2024 - 11:00 am

 

 

Jim Monty - Chairman

 

Chairman Monty called this task force to order at 11:10 am with the following in attendance: Clayton Barber, Matt Brassard, Jim Monty, Joe Pete Wilson, Matt Stanley, Megan Murphy, and Carol Calabrese. Charlie Harrington, Mike Diskin, Anna Reynolds, Krissy Leerkes and Laurel Polttia were absent. Ken Hughes, Bill Tansey, Alan Jones, Mike Mascarenas, Nicole Justice-Green, Lorilee Sheehan, and Terri Morse were excused.

 

Also present: - Dina Garvey, and Jim Dougan

 

News Media Present - none

 

MONTY: Good morning, we’ll call the Housing Task Force to order. Thank you, all for coming, I had a few people message me that they couldn’t make it this morning, for various reasons. I know, Mr. Jones, we have the Federal Government auditing over at ACAP on our childcare, wrapping up this week.

One thing that I wanted to bring up, there’s been some movement within the Governor’s budget, as far as Tyler Hennepin goes, nothing we can really lay our hands on , because, she’s making it somewhat easier for the sale of those properties, but still, you’re dealing with Federal, Supreme Court decision. So, the Land Bank Board and their attorneys, as well as the NACo attorneys are looking into how that will overlap. With what the Governor is saying, it does to seem to make things easier. They did put a moratorium on the length they could go back on taxes, if they request it. Before there was no definition of how far back you could go, now they’re saying two years. So, that will make things somewhat easier, if you have requested that, can only go back two years. Still they’re suggesting we keep, if we were to go through a tax sale as a County, the excess finds then go into escrow and wait for those two years, before those funds could come out. She put in, the Governor put in some parameters, which was always our question, of the legal fees, the cost of holding the auction, etc., etc., those costs, according to the Governor, can be added and deducted from the profit made. Then comes, that’s where the Supreme Court decision, they put nothing in there, they didn’t want to do it. The Land Bank Attorney, seems to think that it’s possibly, the rest is, they want each individual State to make that decision and they’ll pass judgement, once the States do that. I don’t know, it’s way above my pay grade.

 

STANLEY: Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but it sounded like, when Mike was talking about this last week, that once the letters go out for the foreclosure and everything, it’s going to be on the lienholders and the property owners to come forward to collect  that excess money, not us to find them; correct?

 

MONTY: Correct, correct, which makes it easier. Because a lot of time those lienholders have signed off on whatever’s owed them and stuff, don’t know how that’s going to effect, but that’s basically for the property, the tax sale. I’m sure where we’re at with that.

The Land Bank front; there appears to be a lot of funding coming out for land banks. I know Nicole’s applied for several grants that in regard, I know she’s working with you, Matt. She’s working with Robin in Newcomb. We finally got our letter in to become a pro housing community. I know Robin’s been approved.

 

BARBER: We have, too.

 

MONTY: Good, good. That’s going to free up money for those pro housing communities, eligibility for money. whether you get it or not. There’s going to be a lot of competition in New York State for those money, but we are looking into trying to get as much as we can, to do as much work as we can. The biggest criteria is becoming a pro housing community, which will score more points when they grade the application.

 

WILSON: Can I just follow up on that State money? On Thursday I met with a Rep from the Department of State about the Forward New York Grant Program, trying to find stuff that fits our small, small towns and I was encouraged that they were putting money into it, but then the criteria, it was a minimum project of $5 million, with a 25% match and I thought that in the Town of Keene, where am I going to come up with a million and quarter match with the budget that we have? And a project that big in Keene is hard develop. So, I think we’ve got to continue to advocate for our level of small. When I look at the size of our towns, you know, Moriah’s big, compared to Keene, but that’s what the grants are aimed at. Towns your size with our little towns, you know $5 million with a 25% match is, you know they’re moving in the right direction, we’ve got to keep pressing to advocate for really small projects can still be transformative in our little communities.

 

MONTY: That’s very true. I know we’re working on that Winebrook Project in Newcomb, and that’s going to be a smaller type project and I do agree with you, a lot of what you’re saying, Joe Pete, but Matt’s going to have a harder time coming up with $1.25 million in Moriah, than you are, just because of the value of the communities.

 

WILSON: Right

 

BRASSARD: That is what I was going to say, $1.25 million, I wouldn’t be able to come up with for a match.

 

MONTY:  Right

 

STANLEY: So, let me speak to that a little bit, because in Jay we’re doing that. We’re working with Pride of Ti for this and Nicole. We won and we’re working through the New York Main Street Technical Assistance Grant. Which we won for $20,000.00. Inside Architecture is looking at our Main Street in AuSable Forks, breaking down and identifying what buildings that we do, there’s going to be a whole façade recommendation for all of Main Street. There is going to four actual plans for four building for façade work, and then two buildings for complete technical aspect, reuse plans, essentially for those buildings. So, it’s actually broken down into how much money we’re going after. The next step forward in this process is to go after a district grant, a New York Main Street District Grant. That will breakdown and it’s looking at, one building is looking at $100,000.00, one building might be looking at $75,000.00, but the overall project that we would be looking for at this next step is $500,000.00 district grant. Once we get that district grant, we can prove that we can actually go through and utilize that money for the district grant, then we go through that New York Forward. That New York Forward is not going to be one project for $5 million, it’s going to several projects that come up to that $5 million. Like Ticonderoga is doing with $10 million, but it’s spread over 6-8 properties and it’s not the funding by the town, it’s hopefully leveraging funding from private investors to help grow our town. So, it’s small steps, and I mean, I want to get a $10 million DRI grant, because, our Town isn’t the size of Ti, so that New York Forward will really be able to be spent, I think down the road, where we’re starting to see property owners that are coming together and the sad thing is, those property owners that own buildings on Main Street, not a lot of them are local anymore and the reason it’s not local is, I feel that locals in our towns, especially in AuSable Forks, have lost hope. Lost hope to invest in our Main Street, so we’re seeing. We’ve got somebody who’s investing in our Main Street that’s a cop in Boston. He’s built a new laundromat and redone that building so there’s an apartment. One of the things that makes money, and it’s mixed use, so he’s got some commercial space, the laundromat, he’s got a short term rental in there, plus a long term rental, which is really great for the use of that building. We’re starting to see other people, we have a nurse out of New York, him and his partner have bought the movie theatre and they’re trying to revitalize that movie theatre, to not some much be just a movie theatre, but live theatre with a café. So, we’re really starting to see other people coming from out of town. Rebecca Kelly, she’s been in town now for close to 20-years doing revitalization work at the Tahawus Cultural Center. So, and do now have a local family that has bought another building of a local family, they are starting to put money in, they may be looking at a second building. we’ve got an investor from Montreal buying two other buildings, so this, hopefully these things. It’s not town money to be leveraged, but it’s state money to hopefully leverage more private investment in our towns. So, it’s exciting.

 

MONTY: Very exciting, Matt.

 

CALABRESE: Just for clarification on the New York Forward Program, one community can apply for $4.5 million, but you can have up to three communities that have some commonality and you would have to have the lead community have the larger project and then the two other communities could have projects up to $2.25 million. And that’s correct, it’s really the private investment that steers it along. I mean just to pack up for some of the Supervisors who may not know; I actually sat on the committee with the Town of Ti and all the other committee members and we actually started working on the DRI grant in January and it was submitted, 9 months later. We met virtually, multiple times a week, over 9 months. So, now is the time to start preparing, I think, if you’re interested in doing something for the next round, wherever that might be. But, we literally met and each took pieces and built up a history of the investment, potential projects that we thought were going to be, you know, we reached out to the communities to say, Mr. Business Owner, if you had access to this money, you know what would you do?  Could you do something with it? And then, as far as the private investment, all the applicants had to submit proof that they had access to complete the project, because it’s all reimbursable. So, let’s say you had a business on your Main Street, that could do a $500,000.00 project, they would either have to come with the bank commitment letter, which would say, predicating being awarded the grant or some other letter from a funding entity and then the community can also submit, community projects and the three entities that fund, I believe that they are the same for New York Forward, but for DRI, it’s the Department of State, it’s Empire State Development and it’s New York Housing and Community, so it’s CDBG funds, ESD funds, and DOS funds. So, like a municipality it probably going to access funds through the Department of State, whereas a private business, they’re going to access funds through Empire State Development, because that’s what they do by statute. And if anybody wants to  learn more about it, first of all, I’, to the guru, I just happen to be involved in this long process with the community and I’ve learned a lot and I can also put you in touch, if you want to talk to other State Officials, about looking forward, anybody, I guess I’m saying, on these kinds of projects, but the CFA, if you do have projects, they’re anticipating that opening, usually it’s in the spring. So, if you have projects or people in your community that, you know, we don’t have to wait for New York Forward, it just adds to your compelling story that businesses are investing in the community and the State is awarding the funds, whatever, like in Matt’s case, that’s great he’s going down that path, because it shows the State, sees the value of investing in that community, which is more likely to lead to other grants in the future.

 

WILSON: Thanks, I’ll follow up with you on that, because I’ve got a Board member who’s really been involved in our local housing project with Megan, but I think we’ve got some ideas and we were trying to look for funding so we could make this work. So, I’ll follow up with you. Thank you

 

CALABRESE: Sure, you’re welcome.

 

BARBER: So, the Town of Chesterfield, our community, maybe 6-9 months, we started a comprehensive plan. We had not done one in quite a few years, so we started a comprehensive plan and then we also put together another committee to apply for a New York Forward grant and we piggybacked with the Town of AuSable, which we were told would definitely help us, because it’s two different counties, two different towns to come together and apply for the New York Forward grant. We have a comprehensive meeting, tomorrow, we hired MJ Designs to kind of spearhead us to follow us through with this and our comprehensive plan is 6:00-8:00, tomorrow night and we’re also setting up a station for the New York Forward grant, we applied for the $4.5, as she said, to go forward. We put a list of projects. I think we have 12 or 15 projects, but obviously, this is what we’re asking for the community, the priorities, which project they would like to see move forward. We’re putting up, like I said, stations to get the input from the constituents on both side, along with our comprehensive plan.

 

MONTY: Good, good. It’s exciting. Megan, you got anything?

 

MURPHY: Yeah, just a couple of things, one, we have been working quite a bit with Adirondack Foundation. We did receive a grant, directly from Adirondack Foundation Generous Acts to help fund a staff person for Adirondack Community Housing Trust, but we are also funded through ADK Action. We’ve been working with ADK Action and Living ADK out of Herkimer, New York on the idea of incentivizing individuals that have short term rentals, to think about being long term landlords and so Adirondack Foundation has seeded that and so we’re going to put together a toolkit and so even if we don’t actually incentivize anyone, we’re not sure whether people will be interested and the seed funding from Adirondack Foundation is not a lot of money, so we are looking at some other areas for funding for the incentives. They would be quite small. What we’re talking about is not, you know a great incentive. Really, we’re looking for people that were probably thinking about, possibly doing this anyway or people that recognize that in their communities there is a need for more long term rental housing. So, with that we will have a toolkit that we’re putting together and that could really be used by anyone. You know and so for us that would be a product from the Adirondack Foundation grant and then we will be looking for maybe a pilot community, eastern side of the Adirondacks that we would manage and then Living ADK would be looking to do the same idea, to see if there would be some folks. We’ve talked to a number, already, of people who’ve done this. There are people out there, already, that are kind of flipping, we have heard anecdotally, there’s been an increase of the number of short term rentals available, things are getting a little bit more complicated with being a short term rental owner. You know, just even things like being a “superhost”, you know, you’ve got to respond to people in 20 minutes. You know, the idea, we’ve talked to them about the advantages and you know what they have found is there are a lot of hidden costs in short term renting and so we recorded a lot of that. People are very interested in that. I would put forward, I don’t think everybody is, wants to be a long term rental landlord and so it’s probably not for everyone to do that. Some people, like really do enjoy being a short term rental host and I think that’s great. I think our communities need those folks. But, we do know that we have a shortage of long term rentals and if there are folks thinking already about doing this, we want to help them be able to do it successfully. You know, we’ve all heard stories about difficult landlords and difficult renters. They exist on both sides and so we want to be sure what happens, people feel comfortable, that what they’re doing is something that they’re going in eyes wide open and that they understand that. So, you know, we will continue working on that one and we’ll continue to update everyone on that.

 

MONTY: Has there been, I sat through the webinar and stuff and the one person that spoke about on it, that wasn’t in fair of it, has there been a lot of that feedback?

 

MURPHY: Yeah, I mean, we’ve had it on both sides. We actually spoke with someone who has put together, she’s a renter.

 

MONTY: That would be nice, because if anybody goes on that website, all you’re hearing is the one negative.

 

MURPHY: Right

 

MONTY: Because the idea is good. I like the thought process, but when you’ve get that one person, because they archived it, you can go on and listen.

 

MURPHY: Yup

 

MONTY: And that one person, it makes you think that there probably are others that feel the same way and then they’re the ones that don’t want to go in and have it cleaned, every three days.

 

MURPHY: Yes, exactly

 

MONTY: Don’t want to have to change the sheets, don’t want to have to change the towels, they don’t want the work that goes with the short term rental.

 

MURPHY: And those costs, think about how often you’re washing those towels and how frequently you have to actually buy new towels.

 

MONTY: Absolutely

 

MURPHY: Actually, that’s one of the things that we’ve heard about, is that people don’t really put that together, initially, is that, those types, like sheets, towels. Also, just things like utilities, when you have a short term rental, you’re paying all the heat, you’re paying the internet for them to have, you’re paying all those things and usually when you have a long term renter, they usually pay out those costs, so that’s also a hidden cost that we’ve heard about that people haven’t thought about, prior to getting into it. You’re time, like you’re saying, you’re hearing a lot about that, about the time that people spend and some people really enjoy it. I mean, I have a friend and even long before AirBnB, she was doing a rental cabin and she loved it and I have gone and turned it over with her and we had fun, even a little bit, prepping and she has beautiful towels and you know, so her, that’s a great option and they’ve done that for a long time and it helps pay the taxes for their home and so that’s a great opportunity. So, I think there’s really room on all sides, but I do think people need to be realistic and they need to understand the regulations and laws that go along with all of this and it’s highly regulated and that you really as a landlord and even as a renter, need to understand your responsibilities and so that’s a lot of what we want to put out there. Also, a little bit, one of the people that we spoke with, she’s been a little bit focusing on the idea of like, there’s a stigma around renting. If you’re a renter and that you’re a little bit of a second class citizen, that you’re not a homeowner, is that a failure? What does that mean? And you know, that landlords really do need to providing good quality housing, because these are folks living in our communities that are contributing to our communities and so that is a responsibility on the landlord side and we want to be sure that everybody understand those things. So, we’re trying to include a lot a different perspectives, not too much information to keep, we’re going to work with a marketing, to be sure that we’re not, because we’re very enthusiastic about this, we want to tell people everything, but we don’t want to turn them off by it being too much information, too. So, we’re going to try and keep it concise, look at interesting ways of communicating the information that needs to be known, that it’s engaging and people get the messages that we need to be communicating with them and we’re going to, hopefully, go back to the folks that we spoke to on the webinar at North Forest, to start and get feedback on what we’re developing, also. To see that, you know, what we’re doing makes sense, that every other person out there, you know, we have a lot of knowledge, that what we’re communicating makes sense to others. So, we’ll be continuing to use that work, as kind of a feedback for us.

The other thing that we did have was we were awarded a Smart Growth Grant, it’s $300,000.00 to create a pre-development fund. As we’ve identified, our communities have identified, we’ve worked with various communities here, folks come up with a parcel, they’re not really sure whether it is developable or not and so there’s a lot of time, effort, energy, work and testing and other things that go into that and so this a little bit of a pilot. We want to see if we have, we had worked with a couple of different communities, so we had included them in this potential funding and so we want to start working with them to see whether these parcels are developable and hopefully we’ll be able to come out with a couple of different types of projects. We worked with folks here, some folks here is Essex County and Hamilton County and so we’re starting to get out and talk with them about how this might work. It’s all new and so we’ll be kind of feeling our way on that and with the idea on whatever we do or not say, we would even be the developer on them, you know, we just want to know what parcels are developable and then we could come up with a plan on how they might be developed moving forward, but what we do want to see from this, which we did talk about in the Smart Growth Grant, is some form of permanent affordability with the projects. Whether that’s using Adirondack Community Housing Trust or using a deed restriction program or some other way of saying that, you know, we’re making an investment in these communities, everybody is putting in time, effort and energy and we certainly want our folks who are living and working in this area to be able to continue to afford those houses.

 

MONTY: Is there and average cost to doing one of those studies, for a piece of property?

 

MURPHY: There’s not, because it really depends on where the, on what’s needed. You know, for some, you know we need to know where a town sewer or water is or if there is or isn’t and so that in and of itself is something that you’ve got to figure out and if not, how might you bring those resources there. There’s soil testing, there’s looking at, so you have types of soils, can they support, if there’s no wastewater, can they support septic use, how much? There would be potential pre-APA applications, things like that, and how many potential units you might have on a parcel. So, yeah, it really depends. Some of the parcels that, at least entities that we’ve been talking with, have done a little bit of some of this work, so that reduces the costs. So, no, I would have to say no, there’s really not and it really depends on what that parcel is and where it is and what types of studies would be needed to getting it to the point of understanding how many units and what types of units.  So, with that, we’re partnering with Lake Champlain/Lake George Regional Planning Board. Their part in this would be to work with the community and really get together all the information about the community, the data, have community meetings, what types of development would the community really be interested in seeing on that parcel. So, as things move forward, we want to be sure that the community is really an active participant in what would potentially happen with that parcel and we did get matching funds. I feel your pain on the matching funds, for Smart Growth there was a 25% and Adirondack Foundation was kind enough to put out the funds for that. So, the fund is actually $336,000.00, using that Adirondack Foundation funds, as well. so, yes, it is difficult, we are all in the grant world, we know that, that is complicated when there is a match and how do you figure out how to be sure you’re meeting those obligations to become competitive, it can be complicated.

The only other updates in have, in Keene, we’re working on the four single family homes. They should be built,  two should be built over, like summer to fall and two more, fall to winter. So, we’re hoping that we’ll have at least two new homeowners in by the end of the year and then potentially two new homeowners by, in the beginning of 2025.

And then in Wilmington, we’re been working with the Town of Wilmington on six rental units that we would potentially be building there and working with the State, that’s a brand new program. The small rental development initiative, it hasn’t been moving particularly quickly. We’ve started having more regular meetings with our State Reps on that and working with the town on the next steps, which would really be the infrastructure piece, thinking about putting in a road, clearing the lot, doing those things. We have to have those things done this year and then next year, it would be a 2025 build.

 

MONTY: Good. Matt, I was just going to ask you for an update.

 

BRASSARD: So, I don’t know if Tommy, talked about it at all, but before I took office, we had Housing Visions, they’re interested in a 40-60 unit workforce housing development housing in Moriah. Then Kevin Cavanaugh has approached, I guess he’s going to jump in with Housing Visions, perhaps on this. Where the old Port Henry High School sat, we’re going to keep the field, but the Town has no use for that upper lot, at all. So, I had that appraised, I got the appraisal back on that. So, we’re in the very early stages of coming up with a contract or sale of that property, so perhaps there will be 40-50 workforce housing units in the next couple of years.

 

MONTY: Was that with Housing Visions, was that through the BHSN Grant?

 

BRASSARD: Yup

 

MONTY: Because I know there’s a timeframe on that. I hope they’ve told you that and move forward to start. I think the timeframe ends, I want to say in August. They can ask for an extension, obviously, but they we’re moving very fast, the last time.

 

BRASSARD: No, they seem to, I’ve actually reached out to them a couple of times.  

 

MONTY: They were looking at that place in Mineville.

 

BRASSARD: Yeah, right across the road from the VFW.

 

MONTY: Yeah

 

BRASSARD: They want that and the adjacent lot that’s next to that. Then Kevin approached me about the lot down in Port Henry.

 

MONTY: Right, that’s good.

 

BRASSARD: I guess, you can only push so fast.

 

MONTY: Right

 

BRASSARD: If they’re dragging their feet, it’s unfortunately on them.

 

MONTY: Yup, yup, good, good. Mr. Dougan?

 

DOUGAN: My only question would just be playing off the discussion that was happening at the end of Ways and Means Committee and does this Housing Committee need to bring up that discussion on tax assessments?

 

MONTY: Absolutely.

 

DOUGAN: Should this committee, from a housing perspective, being making some kind of a recommendation?

 

MONTY: Yeah

 

DOUGAN: That’s just throwing out a future agenda item, I think.

 

MONTY: Right, I think a lot of it, too, Jim, depends on those 40-unit housing units for the affordable housing. I can’t remember if the individual actually owns it or the corporation, the developing corporation owns it. Maybe you can answer that? Like the one Cavanaugh was talking about doing, first in Newcomb, then in North Hudson, then Schroon Lake.

 

MURPHY: The developer would own that.

 

CALABRESE: Yeah.

 

MONTY: That’s what I thought.

 

BRASSARD: He told me, he would maintain ownership of the building.

 

MURPHY: It would be a low income tax credit property, so, just like McKenzie Overlook.

 

MONTY: And how would that affect property taxes for that community, because there will be tax breaks, I’m quite sure, right?

 

BRASSARD: Well, they told me that there would be a Pilot.

 

MURPHY: Yes

 

MONTY: Well, they will ask for a Pilot.

 

BRASSARD: He said that that’s the only thing that they can do. They can’t be taxed, is what he said.

 

MONTY: They can’t be taxed?

 

BRASSARD: That’s what he told me.

 

CALABRESE: I don’t know enough about it. Megan, do you?

 

MURPHY: I know that up in North Elba, Lake Placid/North Elba, that they did have a Pilot.

 

MONTY: Yeah, they can be, they can get a Pilot, but they’re going to pay tax, just like anybody else. Whether they get the Pilot, they get a percentage off of it, is my understanding and that’s a percentage of everything.

 

CALABRESE: Right and a Pilot comes through an IDA.

 

MURPHY: Right

 

MONTY: But, as far as him not paying taxes, that’s not the case and stuff and part of the reason for him doing it is to get those tax credits and he gets them on the Federal side, too, right?

 

CALABRESE: He’s got to be approved, too.

 

MONTY: By the IDA.

 

CALABRESE: No, even before that, he has to be approved by the State.

 

MURPHY: For the LIHTC project.

 

CALABRESE: Yes

 

MURPHY: There’s a rolling application for LIHTC projects, there’s usually two a year and so you have to go, there’s 4% and 9% and then they have to determine which program they’re in and then from there, they would be awarded, the State would determine whether their project is awarded the tax credits and then they would move to that portion of trying to figure it out.

 

BRASSARD: He was trying to tell me that they could only do a certain percentage of the income or something like that, is what the Pilot is derived from.

 

MURPHY: I don’t about that.

 

MONTY: My understanding in some of the other programs, if you have a 40-unit, I think we were talking 20, because they were talking 20 in North Hudson, 20 in Schroon Lake, 4 of those 20 units had to be, basically Section 8 type, certain percentage of AMI.

 

MURPHY: With LIHTC, is what they call income variance. So, it’s the same as Section 8, so any LIHTC project, it’s built into their pro-forma about the income levels that they would be serving.

 

MONTY: Right

 

MURPHY: And they can serve up to, sometimes 120-130%.

 

MONTY: I think this was 130.

 

MURPHY: But, you only have so many apartments for people in those.

 

MONTY: Right, there’s a percentage for each level.

 

MURPHY: And it’s also a little bit about averaging everything else. That you’re meeting certain goals, so to speak.

 

CALABRESE: And you’re going to continue to have different people come and go.

 

MURPHY: Move in and out, exactly.

 

MONTY: And there’s a length of time that you have to hold those rents and stuff and that’s all part of the agreement.

 

MURPHY: Correct, with the State, yes.

 

CALABRESE: But, really they have to have the approval from the State before.

 

MONTY: Before they can do anything.

 

CALABRESE: Discussions can happen and have happened, obviously, but nothing can happen officially until they get there state designation.

 

MONTY: Right, right, say on top of them.

 

MURPHY: It’s a very complicated process.

 

MONTY: Mr. Dougan, did that answer your question?

 

DOUGAN: No, not completely.

 

MONTY: I agree with you, it is something we need to.

 

DOUGAN: We’ve kind of got to take up that discussion here and how tax assessments or taxable value is effecting housing. Just like short term rentals.

 

MONTY: Absolutely

 

DOUGAN: You know, I don’t know if Carol and Megan have information or if there are other organizations that can, what’s the impact? We all kind of know the impact of short term rentals on housing availability, but we need to start to get information to the State on that, that can help our legislators support the sales tax. The sales tax is…

 

MONTY: The sales tax is huge.

 

DOUGAN: The sales tax is the easiest thing, they’re like a commercial business, somebody is make a profit off a short term rental, then they should be charging sales tax, just like a hotel or motel should.

 

MONTY: I was going to say, what is the difference?

 

DOUGAN: That’s the fairest thing, not to have moratoriums and other things, that’s the fairest thing. This committee needs to make a recommendation on that, that we get out to our legislators.

 

CALABRESE: I don’t know if you can answer it or the Treasurer, but when they do the occupancy tax, do they categorize them by, you know, hotel, short term rental?

 

DOUGAN: I believe our Treasurer can give you that information. It’s not out there, because it’s a little too private, some of the information, but he can tell you how much we’re collecting.

 

STANLEY: They can also give you a list of the registered short term rentals.

 

CALABRESE: That is what I was thinking. If you want some place to start. I mean we’re all talking about it and how it affects our communities, obviously, but…

 

MONTY: We actually just got that report, was it last fall or this spring? With the number of short term rentals in each community.

 

CALABRESE: So, that is going to give you, really a place to start.

 

MONTY: And I think based on the occupancy tax, so it would be pretty much an easy way to figure out what is being lost in sales tax revenue.

 

CALABRESE: How can you dispute that?

 

DOUGAN: It’s collected by the hotels and motels.

 

CALABRESE: Right, so then you would be able to figure out sales tax, quarterly, at least and then annually, once you go through a cycle, but there is your valid information, I think, right there.

 

MONTY: You would think the State would want their 4%.

 

DOUGAN: We’re the only county in New York State, where the leading driver of sales tax comes from rental.

 

MONTY: Tourism

 

DOUGAN: Not just tourism, actual rental of rooms, sales tax.

 

CALABRESE: That should be some pretty compelling figures then.

 

DOUGAN: So, short term rentals are a pretty big piece there, I think, or a good sized market. So, and we’re not getting any of that, so.

 

CALABRESE: So, we talk to the Treasurer and I don’t think I have the capacity.

 

DOUGAN: Jim, can get the report and we can determine how much of it is for supervisors or how much of it is for public.

 

MONTY: I think we collected in Lewis, $428.00, is what I got for short term rentals from the occupancy tax. But, that doesn’t pale to what you get and what you get and what you get and what  you get and even Moriah’s got more than I do. I’m the lowest one, no, I take that back, North Hudson is lower than I am, but of the 18 communities, if it wasn’t for the lump sum that I get, there isn’t nothing that I can really do for $428.00 and stuff.

 

DOUGAN: Yeah

 

WILSON: I don’t want to go too far off the rails, but in some towns that have strong short term rental markets, they’ve imposed a local occupancy tax, just within the towns and then in the cases I’ve looked at, that money’s dedicated to developing affordable housing in the town. So, with the State tax, say, we’re looking at a place in Colorado, state tax, county tax and then the town tax, just on STRs and lodging and they use that specifically for developing local housing efforts. So, one I read about in Hawaii, that on one of the islands, the town, there’s a 13% occupancy tax in that town, but 80% of it is going towards local housing, local social services programs. We each have the ability to do that, if we wanted to dedicate, you know, use leverage, some of those positive aspects of short term rentals and use that money to put right back into local housing.

 

MONTY: Yup, good idea.

 

CALABRESE: And you’ve got a pretty compelling piece of information, if you take the occupancy tax list, that has just the short term rentals on it, you have those numbers.

 

MONTY: Right, right. I will ask Mr. Diskin for those and see if we can’t put some stuff together.

Anything else? If nothing else, I thank you. We stand adjourned.

 

 

THERE WAS NO FURTHER BUSINESS TO COME BEFORE THIS TASK FORCE WAS ADJOURNED AT 11:48 AM.

 

 

Respectively Submitted,

 

 

Dina Garvey, Deputy Clerk

Board of Supervisors