WATERLOO — The Seneca County Board of Supervisors wants to renew its 3 percent room occupancy tax for another three years.
First enacted in 2016, the local law establishing the tax expires Dec. 8 and provides the county with some $450,000 annually to fund its tourism promotion efforts.
Tonight, the board’s Economic Development & Tourism Committee will first vote to introduce the proposed Local Law B of 2019 when it meets at 5:30 p.m. If the committee gives its OK, it will go before the full board later tonight.
The tax applies to anyone leasing or renting a room in a hotel, motel, bed-and-breakfast, inn, cabin, condominium, cottage, campgrounds, lodges, tourism home, convention center or vacation rental. The owners of those businesses are responsible for collecting the tax and sending it to the county treasurer.
The Board of Supervisors will be advised on how to spend some of the tax revenue for tourism promotion by an 11-member advisory committee on tourism. The county contracts with the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce to serve as its tourism promotion agency, giving the chamber a majority of the room tax revenue.
If it passes tonight, the motion will be subject to a public hearing Oct. 10 before it is voted on for the final time.
In other action, the board will:
• Vote on — with the planned retirement of principal public health sanitarian Thomas Scoles in March after 30 years of service — creating a new position of director of environmental health. The position is recommended by Public Health Director Vicki Swinehart to deal with increasing mandates and program changes. The salary range would be $68,676 to $77,039, depending on qualifications of the successful candidate.
• Be given a presentation on a proposed county economic development strategy by members of the Seneca County Industrial Development Agency.