‘Bed Tax’ on private residents who rent their homes?

There’s a new game in town, and it’s created a taxing situation.

Counties across the state are hopping on board to tax private rentals through websites like Airbnb, which previously didn’t tax patrons for renting rooms, cabins or cottages in those counties. Monroe County is the latest to announce Airbnb will now collect a 6 percent occupancy tax on each rental. Other area counties already tax such rentals, along with stays at traditional hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts. Yates County charges 4 percent, and Livingston and Seneca counties each charge 3 percent.

Ontario County sent a request to Albany to extend its existing 3 percent occupancy tax to include all rooms. That request stalled once in the Legislature and is stalled again during a second attempt to get it passed as lawmakers disagree over taxes in general.

“The intent is for us to level the playing field for all,” said Jack Marren, chairman of the Ontario County Board of Supervisors.

The county board unanimously voted to extend its 3 percent occupancy tax to all rooms. Its bed tax currently applies only to places renting four or more.

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