Local Legislation to Regulate Short-Term Rentals – Local Law 18 of 2022:
As a result of HANYC’s efforts with its lobbying team, its coordinated push with an affordable housing coalition and former Council Member Ben Kallos and the City Council’s legislative team, Local Law 18 of 2022 was passed. This Law requires that the more than 37,000 New York City homes listed on STR platforms will have to be registered with the City in order to place a listing on a third-party platform, such as AirBnB.
By requiring hosts to register STRs with the City and submit their registration number to home sharing platforms before listing, this bill protects both affordable housing and legal operators of STRs. Furthermore, HANYC worked with other stakeholders to ensure that State Multiple Dwelling Law provisions with respect to STRs are preserved.
HANYC was the only city organization that testified in the hearings leading up to the law’s enactment.
Currently, as the Adams Administration prepares for the upcoming rulemaking process to implement Local Law 18 of 2022, HANYC is working on engaging the Adams Administration and City Council to ensure that this law is effectively implemented and not weakened by AirBnB and/or other related stakeholders.
Registration is expected to significantly reduce the number of listings (estimated to be approximately 50K) on STR sites resulting in better outcomes for all (legitimate) hotels in NYC.
HANYC successfully lobbied for a carve-out for NYC with respect to NYS timeshare legislation.
Small plastic bottles in hotels bill:
HANYC helped to achieve prolonged effective dates for hotels with respect to the bill which prohibits hotels from making available to its hotel guests small plastic bottles containing hospitality personal care products.
Human Trafficking bill:
HANYC provided input into this bill aimed at ensuring that locations including hotels prominently feature information on human trafficking. HANYC further helped hotels achieve compliance by providing proper verbiage for the information posters, hosting seminars and continuing to provide free training for all hotel member employees.
Hotel Repurposing Bill/Housing Our Neighbors with Dignity Act (“HONDA”):
HANYC provided input into the initial bill, which amended the state’s multiple dwelling law to facilitate conversions of existing distressed hotels to affordable permanent housing as well as the newly passed HONDA, which essentially funds hotel repurposing conversions to affordable housing statewide.
Temporary liquor licenses:
HANYC worked with the NYS Legislature to ensure that NYC establishments would now be eligible to receive temporary State Liquor Authority permits pending determination of full license application.
SCOTUS Bruen decision regarding firearms:
HANYC weighed in on a NYS legislative fix that deals with carrying laws of firearms and thereafter provided hotel members with a memorandum on the legislation which addressed the SCOTUS/Bruen decision.
Real Property Tax and other Tax Relief Efforts:
HANYC has worked closely with its lobbyists to engage key members of the City Council and the Adams Administration to build support for several policies that will provide New York City hotels with tax relief amid the City’s recovery from COVID-19. Such policies to deliver relief include:
- Waiving the 18% interest rate on property taxes paid late by hotels for next 3 years(City Council);
- Lowering the occupancy tax rate from 5.875%, to 2%(City Council);
- Allowing any properties that challenged their prior assessed values and got them lowered to use that lower rate as the base for this tax year and to keep that rate for the following year to further facilitate rebound. HANYC proposes to make this policy permanent(Administration);
- Cap Rate Adjustment – Advocating to increase the cap rate to lower property taxes for hotels overall(Administration);
- Adams Administration Engagement:
- HANYC has also engaged key members of the Adams Administration to garner additional support within City Hall for HANYC’s policy priorities that would deliver tax relief for New York City hotels.
City Council “Right to Recall” Legislation:
- In 2021, the City Council introduced two pieces of legislation, Int. 2241 and Int. 2325, that would have required certain employers to rehire employees who were laid off as a result of COVID-19 before hiring new employees.
- At that time, HANYC engaged key members of the City Council and highlighted the administrative burdens that this legislation would have caused for struggling hotels. As a result, HANYC successfully prevented both pieces of legislation from passing before the end of the City Council’s 2020-2021 legislative session.
- In 2022, the City Council reintroduced legislation, 0521, that would require certain employers, including airport hospitality operators, food service providers and private entities that operate large event centers to rehire employees that have been laid off due to COVID-19 before hiring new employees.
- HANYC is monitoring this legislation closely and will work to clarify the language to ensure that the legislation does not include hotels, should the City Council seek to advance this bill in the coming months.
NYS Health and Essential Rights Act (“HERO”):
The HERO Act defined “airborne infectious disease” and requires employers with a New York worksite to establish an airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plan, which must be designed to eliminate or minimize employee exposure to airborne infectious agents in the event of an outbreak of an airborne infectious disease.
HANYC negotiated a change to the legislation to avoid a simple trigger for this law.
Advocating for the Return of Pandemic-Era Indoor Dining:
When New York City began to reopen following the initial spread of COVID-19, HANYC engaged City officials to encourage them to reopen indoor dining with limited capacity to allow for hotels to reopen their restaurants and provide some financial relief.
Amending the COVID-19 Travel Form Requirements for Hotel Guests in NYC:
When the City required travelers to fill out COVID-19 quarantine forms when visiting New York City, HANYC engaged City Hall officials to educate them on the burdens that the Mayor’s Executive Order placed on hotel staff to ensure that their guests remained in compliance and requested amendments to the order to reduce a hotel’s liability for enforcement of such rules.
Advocating to Amend the PPP Program for Property Tax Relief:
Following the passage of the federal CARES Act at the height of the pandemic, HANYC worked in partnership with Greenberg Traurig’s DC practice to build support among New York City’s Congressional Members to amend the rules of the PPP program to allow for hotels to utilize a portion of the loan to cover property taxes.
HANYC members sent letters to the New York Delegation to build additional support, highlighting the current property tax burden and its overall impact on New York City’s hotel industry, as well as pushing for property tax relief to be included in any upcoming COVID-19 related stimulus bills or additional federal relief opportunities.
Building Support for the Employee Retention Tax Credit Reinstatement Act (“ERTC”):
At the beginning of 2021, HANYC engaged key members of the New York Congressional Delegation and asked them to support the passage of Rep. Carol Miller’s ERTC of 2021.
While engaging the New York Congressional Delegation, HANYC highlighted the importance that the ERTC program has played in helping New York City hotels retain their workforce and prevent further layoffs amid the industry’s recovery from COVID-19.
Securing Wages Earned Against Theft (“SWEAT”) bill:
The SWEAT bill provides that the employee must file notice of the lien no later than three years following the “end of the employment giving rise to the wage claim.”
HANYC coordinated a Statewide campaign which led to a 2020 veto of this legislation which would have created a wage lien upon a mere allegation of unpaid wages.
COVID Era advocacy:
- HANYC successfully lobbied for an Executive Order during COVID so as not to create a landlord/tenant relationship for stays more than 30 days. HANYC collaborated with the Governor’s Office to incorporate language to clarify that a landlord/tenant relationship would not be created in situations where individuals occupied hotel properties in excess of 30 days during the State emergency period.
- Classifying Hotels as Essential Businesses amid the COVID-19 Shutdowns
- In 2020, when New York State announced their plans to close businesses and implement shelter-in-place rules due to the rapid spread of COVID-19, HANYC worked closely with leadership at the State level to make the case that hotels needed to be designated an essential business to allow them to continue operations during the shutdown.
- Through close coordination with City and State elected officials, as well as the Governor’s office, New York City’s hotels were able to remain open with their designation as an essential business.
- Educating Elected Officials on the Hotel Industry amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, HANYC engaged in extensive outreach to City Council Members and senior staff from the Mayor’s Administration to illustrate the impact of the pandemic on hotels, including its short-term and long-term financial impacts that will impede a full recovery.
- HANYC partnered with government leaders to support the City, State, and federal COVID-19 relief efforts and alternative uses of hotel space for COVID preparedness.
- Addressing the Hotel Industry’s Concerns with Hotel Service Disruption Legislation
- In 2020, the City Council introduced and passed a bill, Int. 2049, that mandated employment protections for hotel workers when a hotel changes ownership, as well as to require that hotels notify guests when there are service disruptions that would affect their upcoming stay.
- HANYC engaged several key Council Members to raise several of the concerns that the hotel industry had with this legislation, highlighting the operational barriers and hurdles that would make it difficult for hoteliers to remain in compliance with the legislation, especially amid the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- HANYC interacted with NYS Empire State Development to provide HANYC with updates re tourism funding programs.
Other Executive Orders and directives:
HANYC is consistently monitoring the State budget and all State legislation regarding the hospitality industry
Legislation with negative outcomes to the industry:
- HANYC successfully pushed back on legislation that a Council Member planned to introduce that would have banned resort/urban fees for New York City-based hotels. HANYC briefed the Council Member, who planned to introduce the legislation, on the role that such fees play in hotel bookings and the challenges that New York City’s hotel industry currently faces. Following this conversation, the Council Member agreed with the sentiments and decided to not introduce the bill.
- HANYC successfully lobbied to stop a draft bill that required daily room cleaning for all hotels from moving forward.
- HANYC worked to ensure the lapse of Local Law 50 that prevented the conversion of hotels to alternate uses.