Taxes, red tape snarl tourism, Senate panel told

Saratoga

One of the Cuomo administration’s catchphrases on economic development assets that the state is “open for business.” But that’s not always the case, according to several who testified Wednesday before a state Senate committee on regulation reform.

“From my perspective, we are not open for business,” Christine Hoffer said, referring to the general state of affairs in rural New York.

Hoffer, who runs the Rice Mansion Inn bed and breakfast in Cambridge, said that bucolic village is turning into a ghost town, with 100,000 square feet of empty space for sale, rent or simply empty along the main drag. Her 12-room inn carries a property and school tax bill of almost $18,000, she said.

Nearby, the Cambridge Hotel, which was featured in an episode of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s makeover show “Hotel Hell,” has been empty for more than a year, tangled in debt and back taxes.

“Wow,” said western New York GOP Sen. Pat Gallivan, who led the hearing along with fellow Republican Kathy Marchione of Halfmoon, and Independent Democratic Conference member David Valesky from Central New York.

Part of a statewide road show by the majority coalition of Republicans and members of the IDC, Wednesday’s testimony focused on the tourism and hospitality industries, ………..

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