Occupancy tax numbers on the rebound in Essex County

The Essex County Board of Supervisors

The Essex County Board of Supervisors Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— While a green winter may have been a bit of a nightmare for Adirondack businesses, occupancy tax numbers have been strong as the weather has warmed.

Carol Joanette of the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST)/Lake Placid CVB said that not only were occupancy tax numbers high for the months of May and June, they also set records.

“May came in ahead 10 percent of the 2011 numbers,” Joanette told members of the Essex County Economic Development, Planning and Publicity Committee Aug. 13. “June numbers came in 13 percent ahead of 2011. This year was our record for any June totals in history.”

Overall, Joanette said that the occupancy tax revenue for the county has been down about 1.7 percent for the year.

“The winter was really down because of the unseasonably warm weather,” she said.

However, Joanette added that all signs point to a rebound for the rest of the year.

“We know that July and August have been pretty good months so far,” she said. “We are confident that our numbers for 2012 will be better than last year.”

Millions for projects

Community Resources Director Mike Mascarenas reported to the committee numbers for open and pending applications for federal and state relief funding for Tropical Storm Irene repair efforts.

“We have open applications for county projects of nearly $5 million open applications and nearly $5 million in pending applications that I expect to hear in a month or so,” Mascarenas said. “We also have $12 million in open and $7 million in pending on the town side.”

Supervisors thanked Mascarenas for his work in coordinating the grant and funding efforts.

“Mike is doing a great job working with all of our communities and working to get as much money as he can and working with the other agencies,” Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava said.

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