Tag: taxes

    Hotelier wants Niagara Falls to refund bed taxes

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    From the Niagara Gazette:

    The owner of a pair of hotels in Niagara Falls has filed a legal claim seeking the return of nearly $300,000 in hotel room occupancy taxes collected from patrons who sought lodging at its properties last year.

    The notice of petition, filed by Falls attorney John Bartolomei on behalf of the hotels’ owner, NFNY Hotel Management, LLC, seeks a refund totaling $285,808.75 for hotel room occupancy tax collected from June 30, 2015 through Sept. 30, 2015. The notice indicates that the petitioner wishes to “refund such amount to the patrons from whom it was collected.”

    The claim, filed as an article 78 proceeding, asserts that the tax was “erroneously, illegally and unconstitutionally imposed” by the city through the office of Controller Maria Brown and is in “violation and contradiction to the statutory authority under which said tax has been imposed.”

    Bashing tourism – a Niagara Falls tradition

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    Look, when you’ve lived here long enough, we all do it. Complain about tourism.

    We gripe when we’re in a hurry and there’s a car with a Pennsylvania plate ahead of us.

    We gripe when we hit a pothole on Drummond Rd. but see a War of 1812 archway over Lundy’s Lane.

    We gripe that entire sections of our city seem off-limits for four or five months per year.

    Most of all, we gripe when we pay for it. When our taxes go towards promoting, marketing or fixing up the tourist industry. Maybe it’s because social media opens portals that weren’t there 20 years ago, but I’ve never seen the anger and resentment worse than it is now.

    OLG funds used to cover Falls budget shortfall

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    From Niagara This Week:

    Not wanting to stick ratepayers with a potential $62 increase on their tax bills, councillors decided Tuesday to take a $2.9-million shortfall in revenues by taking the money from the City’s OLG reserve fund.

    The shortfall came about after the Region reversed its tax policy to create a separate primarily for tax levies on the city’s two casinos, primarily the large Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort. The Region made the decision based on a provincial re-assessment of the value of the property. The re-assessment is currently under appeal.

    “I don’t think it would be fair or realistic to say to taxpayers, we’re getting over $20 million from the OLG and now we’re going to raise your taxes.”

    Mayor Jim Diodati called the situation a “frustrating” one.

    Fog hangs over tourism spending

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    From the Buffalo News:

    The control of millions of dollars of public money used to market and promote Niagara Falls and Niagara County is in the hands of 17 people.

    They choose how casino revenue and hotel taxes should be used to promote tourism in the county. They determine the salaries of staff hired with those dollars. They oversee when and where those staff members travel on the public dime.

    But out of 17 directors who oversee the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp., only three represent people elected by the public.

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