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Sleepy Hollow Board Requests Added Taxation Powers

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. – Sleepy Hollow trustees are formally requesting that state legislators grant them the ability to impose a hotel occupancy tax in the hopes they will gain future revenues from tourism.

The village board unanimously passed a home rule request Tuesday night for the right to impose a 3 percent tax on people who stay in hotel or motel rooms in the village. A portion of the tax, about one-sixth, would be used to fund tourism and economic development.

Assembly member Tom Abinanti (D-Greenburgh) has proposed legislation in Albany regarding the issue for the Town of Greenburgh, the six villages in Greenburgh and Sleepy Hollow.

Sleepy Hollow Mayor Ken Wray noted that the village doesn't have any hotels within its boundaries right now, but a future hotel is planned as part of the General Motors development. Wray said he was in support of the tax, especially since it would fund developments with money that “doesn't come from the villagers or more importantly the village itself.”

“One of the things to keep in mind is that one of the ideas behind the hotel tax is not just taxing the out-of-towners and the people who come and use the rooms as a revenue source,” he said. “It's also often directed, or at least a portion of the taxes are directed, towards building and visitation efforts. So a portion of the tax is actually reserved for that and comes back and helps fund those kinds of efforts.”

Wray noted that the village has already begun to increase marketing efforts so that more people will want to visit Sleepy Hollow. He said he sees the hotel occupancy tax as a “long-term source of revenue for this.”

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