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Steuben County expands definition of ‘hotel’ for rental businesses to collect more taxes

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Steuben County is expanding the definition of a “hotel” for local rental businesses in order to collect the same taxes as it does on more traditional hotels. The county legislators voted to amend Local Law 3 from 1987 at a meeting on January 23, 2023, to include properties that are rented for 30 days or less online, as well as through a realtor.

According to minutes from the meeting, the new definition will be based on criteria set by the state and will include “bed and breakfast, motels, motor courts, boarding houses, inns, cabins, condominiums, cottages, campgrounds, lodges, tourist homes, apartments, convention centers, bungalows, and vacation rentals.”


The law will be subject to a public comment period on February 27, 2023, before its final adoption. County officials say the expanded definition will bring in much-needed revenue for the county and bring local rental businesses in line with state regulations.

However, some property owners and renters are concerned that the expanded definition may lead to higher taxes for short-term rentals. They also argue that the tax would be an extra burden for homeowners who rely on short-term rentals to supplement their income.

The county’s decision to expand the definition of a hotel is part of a wider trend of local governments looking to collect taxes from short-term rentals, as the popularity of platforms like Airbnb and VRBO has increased in recent years.