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Suffolk County plans to increase tax on hotel stays

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Suffolk County will move forward with a plan to raise taxes on hotel and motel stays.

The tax on the per diem rate for nightly stays at lodging in the county will increase from 3% to 5.5%. It will apply to all guests, regardless of where they are from.

Since first implemented in 1991, officials say the tax has raised an estimated $11 million a year which is used for tourism promotion and the upkeep of historic sites throughout the county.

The increased rate will expand those efforts, while also supporting a new Suffolk County Infrastructure Fund, which would help build a proposed convention center in Ronkonkoma -- Long Island’s first.

Supporters like the fact that the rate increase will mostly affect non-residents, but critics say it’s another burden on small businesses.

Sabrina is host and producer of WSHU’s daily podcast After All Things. She also produces the climate podcast Higher Ground and other long-form news and music programs at the station. Sabrina spent two years as a WSHU fellow, working as a reporter and assisting with production of The Full Story.