Weekly Link Round Up

The weekly link roundup is a collection of links related to Newburgh, revitalization, urban planning and anything else that might inspire change or create dialogue. Photo by John Leighton

Winter cycling isn’t extreme [WFP]
What Percentage of Small Businesses Fail? [F]
Airbnb reaches room tax agreement with Orange County [MHN]
Small bookstores are booming after nearly being wiped out [CBS]
Can a legacy e-commerce brand help revive brick-and-mortar retail? [C]
As Big Retailers Seek to Cut Their Tax Bills, Towns Bear the Brunt [NYT]
DEC Announces $7.3 Million Awarded to ‘Climate Smart’ Municipalities [DEC]

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5 Comment

  • Airbnb room tax for a fair playing field? Perhaps if the IDAs didn’t subsidize the development of corporate lodging chains with mil$ “incentives”, municipal coffers wouldn’t require an expanded consumer tax. As per that estimated $40-$50K, either it’s way conservative or the other counties are over stating their take (avg. tax per stay is 4%).
    …and how many of those Big Retailers are recipients of “tax incentive” packages as well? The re-assessments they seek require costly litigation if they are challenged by a municipality, dollars that the munis either don’t have and/or are a liability risk to the tax payers. Once again, municipalities negotiated when hungry.
    …and how is NYS going to pay for its ‘green conversion’ and corporate welfare? Hint, it isn’t by taxing just the wrong people.
    …real books are cool…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egqv1mtos6A&index=6&list=OLAK5uy_k9msukwIx-ZieqE0FmVRFtayWae2xv9YI

    • As an Airbnb host I’m actually relieved that this takes the accounting for the tax out of our hands and further legitimizes what we started here. Your point is well taken. The county’s not subsidizing any hotels in our city but continues to create credits for backwards malls and more car-dependent retail- and hotels in the middle of nowhere, guests of whom would require a car just to do any shopping. I would call that the opposite of economic development. When we have guests I would say that every visitor spends at least what they spend on our room in the City of Newburgh because, get this, it’s so convenient to walk to those businesses. As most of our guests come from NYC or other dense urban areas their nature is not to get into a car to go somewhere to simply grab a meal or shop. And hey, if our business got a subsidy we could actually afford to hire someone. I guess they prefer the profits leaving the county. Arkansas is pretty close to the county leaders’ ideology- I guess they feel they’re sending money to more of their own.

      • It’s always appreciated when someone with “hands on” knowledge comments, thanks. I acknowledge that less regulatory accounting is a plus for the small business person, but the collected tax seems to fall into the much touted tourism abyss. I.E, on the way back from the airport recently we hit a rest stop off of the nys highway and I noticed that only three Orange County towns were represented via distinct brochures…Historic Newburgh wasn’t one of them.

        • Having been the Newburgh representative for Art Along the Hudson for a few years, I know first hand that complexity in creating brochures and deciding about where to distribute them. The Thruway charges to have brochures put in their kiosks but they stock them and maintain them for that fee. The amazing Betsy McKean, our last city archivist, produced brochures about our city. Some are still floating around. It was done with grant money and some ad spots from local businesses. I vaguely remember she did get them placed at the airport for some time. There is no excuse that our city’s “economic development director” hasn’t taken on this task that would pay back instantly in spades. It wasn’t Betsy’s job per se, but she took the initiative and there are other wonderful things she produced while she was here. Things that seem so long ago and far away. Like the flags on the lampposts by the river that talked about our heritage and advertised our businesses. They’ve mostly faded and shredded in the wind.

          • I see that the City’s Art & Cultural Commission has started up again and recently applied for a grant with the City’s sponsorship to “get the ball rolling”. It’s my understanding that the legal structure of the ‘Commission’ limits its ability to apply for certain grants. The Illuminated Festival used the ‘City as a conduit last year to accept needed $s from the County government for this reason. My trepidation of these “partnerships” is a certain party’s propensity to “regulate” via a virtuous narrative. At a recent city council work session it was mentioned that a “large” art installation may be coming to the Newburgh community. Is it part of the give and take? I hope we like it. It would be a shame if the Commission’s work was hijacked. ‘Might as well hand over the ‘People’s Park’ along the river to Walmart, install some art pieces along a jogging path and call it a “city center”. Win, win…not. https://newburghny.swagit.com/play/01242019-997 item 9