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NYC Hotel Tax Rate Law Expires, Causing Confusion

Excerpt from New York Times

Dec 11, 2013 10:20 am

Skift Take

New York City hotels may think they are being prudent by collecting the 5.875% tax rate even though the law expired, but it is a ripoff to consumers, and the hotels are making themselves susceptible to lawsuits.

— Dennis Schaal

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New York City can be an expensive place for out-of-towners seeking a bed for the night. But those visitors have unknowingly paid thousands of dollars more in hotel taxes than they should have because of confusion caused by City Hall.

Until late Tuesday, the city’s finance department was telling hotel operators that they should collect an occupancy tax of 5.875 percent of the rate they charge for each room each night. But the law that raised the tax to that rate expired on Nov. 30. On Tuesday, after receiving an inquiry from a reporter about the advice it was giving the operators, the department changed its website to reflect the lower rate.

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