The executive order provides relief through a tax pause. On May 19, 2021, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order to provide temporary tax relief for the hotel industry as the industry continues to recover from the loss of tourism due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The executive order eliminates the 5.875 percent hotel room occupancy tax rates for three months, from June 1, 2021 through August 31, 2021. The impact of the pandemic on the hotel industry could be seen in the drop in revenue from the hotel room occupancy tax, which was down 89 percent compared to Fiscal Year 2020. The goal of the executive order is to bring more business to hotels, who can lower the cost of their rooms due to the lack of an occupancy tax, thus increasing demand, bringing more tourists in and helping make up for the losses of the past year.
Mayor de Blasio stated, “As our COVID rates continue to plummet and we continue to drive a recovery for all of us, tourists will be coming back to New York City in droves. We’re ready for them. By eliminating the hotel room occupancy tax for this summer, we’re accelerating our economic recovery, saving jobs and providing relief for one of our hardest-hit industries.
Sherif Soliman, Department of Finance Commissioner, stated, “It is undeniable that New York City’s hotel industry, which welcomed tens of millions of tourists and business travelers before the pandemic, suffered tremendously as travel halted. As the City’s Recovery for All continues to gain momentum, this targeted and temporary tax reduction will provide wind at the backs of the hotel industry, helping put more New Yorkers to work as they roll out the red carpet for all who seek accommodations, whether for leisure or business.”
By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)