Hillsdale adopts $150 short-term rental fee

HILLSDALE–At its regular June monthly meeting the Hillsdale Town Board unanimously passed a resolution adding a $150 occupancy permit fee to the town’s fee structure. In an email, Hillsdale Supervisor Peter Cipkowski explained “this new $150 fee is a certificate of occupancy, not associated with a building permit. The new fee is designed for those who have a residence that is transitioning to a commercial short-term rental.”

Mr. Cipkowski elaborated, saying, “We are continuing to develop a new local law to address the STR [short-term rental] issue in Hillsdale. Bottom line, the goal is to register short-term rentals in the town and ensure safety by requiring a fee-based periodic inspection.”

Earlier in the meeting Mr. Cipkowski reported on a meeting of the County Board of Supervisors. “Columbia County estimates that as much as $400,000 is being left on the table as a result of short-term rentals that are not charged an occupancy tax.” He estimated that the occupancy tax would be around 4%.

Currently 20 Columbia County communities have some relationship with AirBnB and similar short-term rental services. Host Compliance, a company that tracks short-term rentals, lists 70 such lodging alternatives in Hillsdale. The supervisor noted there is no charge to towns and municipalities to join Host Compliance.

In other business:

• The board approved sending a letter to state Department of Transportation with a list of nine roads within the hamlet of Hillsdale, requesting speed limits be reduced to 25 mph. The roads either have no posted speed limit or the posted speed is 55 mph

• Tax Collector Joe Hanselman reported that 94% of property taxes have been collected as of last week, accounting for $3.9 million. However, the 94% collection rate is down by 2% from the previous year

• The much-damaged street lamp at the intersection of Routes 22 and 23 will be replaced and relocated to Cullen Square. The board rejected reinstalling a new street lamp at the same location but with added bulwarks to protect it, when board member Jill Sims-Elster argued the bulwarks were potentially more dangerous to vehicles, drivers and passengers, if struck.

The next Hillsdale Town Board meeting is Tuesday, July 9 at 7 p.m.

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