Suffolk Comptroller to discuss hotel-motel tax in Riverhead


Months after Suffolk County began targeting short-term rental owners, county Comptroller John Kennedy is expected to explain how the hotel-motel tax is enforced at an upcoming meeting in Riverhead.

The free public meeting will be held on March 30 at 6 p.m. at the Hyatt Place East End on East Main Street, North Fork Legislator Al Krupski (D-Cutchogue) announced Wednesday.

“There have been many questions on who has to pay this tax” he said in a statement. “It is also important to know where this money goes.”

After an hour-long social, Mr. Kennedy will give a presentation on the 3 percent tax at 7 p.m. to detail how it supports tourism promotion.

Kristen Jarnagin, president and CEO of the Long Island Convention & Visitors Bureau, will also speak about future plans to promote East End tourism.

Last October, short-term home rental owners in Riverhead and Southold who use services like Airbnb said they were surprised to learn they would be responsible for the tax, which had previously been applied to hotels, motels, inns, cabins and other lodging businesses. The county began collecting on the tax a month later.

Mr. Krupski, who previously said the tax would create a “level playing field” among short-term rental owners and hotels, said the meeting will help to clear up confusion over the tax.

“The best way to get the right answers to these questions is to bring everyone together and hear it from the people who monitor and use these funds,” he said. “Everyone can then get the correct information and ask their questions to understand the law.”

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