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City of Ithaca News

Posted on: August 5, 2021

City of Ithaca Hotel Room Occupancy Tax Information

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City of Ithaca Hotel Room Occupancy Tax Information

The City of Ithaca wishes to inform and remind all lodging operators in the City, including short-term rental hosts, that they are now required to collect the City of Ithaca hotel room occupancy tax and remit it to the City on a quarterly basis. 

In February, 2021, Ithaca Common Council adopted local law 2021-05 establishing the City of Ithaca room occupancy tax to provide financial support to the new downtown Ithaca conference center. Beginning on April 1, 2021 overnight stays at hotels, motels, inns, BnBs, vacation rentals, short term rentals, and Airbnbs in the City of Ithaca became subject to a 5% City hotel room occupancy tax. This new City tax is separate from and in addition to the 5% Tompkins County hotel room occupancy tax.  

Any business or individual renting out property or rooms for short-term stays in the City of Ithaca is now required to: 1) Register as a lodging property with the City Controller, 2) Collect the 5% tax on all non-exempt stays, and 3) Submit room tax returns and payment quarterly to the City. 

Information and instructions, including Frequently Asked Questions, are now available on the City’s website: https://www.cityofithaca.org/747/Occupancy-Tax

Failure to comply with this new City of Ithaca room tax law could result in fines, penalties, or other means of tax collection and enforcement. For additional details, see the room tax law.  

All City room tax revenues will be dedicated to support the Downtown Ithaca Conference Center. The new 50,000+ square foot Downtown Ithaca Conference Center will be located at the current site of the western section of the Green Street Garage (now under demolition) and will take up of first three floors of the mixed use Asteri building with 181 units of affordable housing above. The Center will include a second floor ballroom of 11,000 square feet, a full banquet kitchen, and a junior ballroom of more than 5,000 square feet and is expected to generate 22,000 new room nights and $8.3 million in new visitor spending annually. 

For questions about tax registration and collection, contact Steve Thayer, City Controller, SThayer@cityofithaca.org   

For questions about the Downtown Ithaca Conference Center project and use of room tax, contact Tom Knipe, Deputy Director for Economic Development, tknipe@cityofithaca.org

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