While New York City consistently ranks as one of the top U.S. destinations for tour operators, visits are likely to be adversely impacted with the September 1 expansion of hotel room occupancy taxes to include remarketers, the National Tour Association (NTA) says. The move is also expected to impact travel agents and is opposed by ASTA.
“At this time, there is no instruction on the New York City Finance website regarding how re-marketers should collect, track, or pay this new tax,," NTA said. "According to the August 14 memorandum, a Registration Certificate is required for all NYC hotel re-marketers and this certificate is to be obtained by September 3, 2009. The method of obtaining a certificate through the New York City Finance department is not currently known."
According to an August 24 survey conducted by NTA, more than 80 percent of member tour operators that responded indicated they would book fewer hotel rooms in New York City when the revisions on the hotel room occupancy tax are implemented today. NTA estimates that this will impact as many as 60,000 rooms a year in New York City.
The New York City Department of Finance posted a memorandum August 4 indicating that all New York City hotel room re-marketers would be required to collect and pay hotel tax on the additional amount they charge the hotel room occupants. Re-marketers were defined in the memorandum as “any person, excluding the operator, having any right, access, ability or authority, through any means whatsoever, to offer, reserve, book, arrange for, remarket, distribute, broker, resell, or facilitate the transfer of rooms…”
NTA opposes this revision on the hotel room occupancy tax and is actively petitioning for additional answers and guidance for members.