A bill to regulate short-term rentals in New York, a billion-dollar industry in the state outside of New York City, is headed to Gov. Kathy Hochul's desk for her signature.

It would require property owners to register their short-term rentals with the NYS Department of State every two years while allowing municipalities to collect sales and occupancy tax on short-term rentals.

In the final hours of the legislative session, the bill’s fate was uncertain. On Friday afternoon and evening, hopes for the legislation to pass in the Assembly fluctuated as the chaos surrounding the governor’s decision to pause the implementation of congestion pricing upended conversations about pending bills. The registry had already passed in the Senate.

Advocates for the bill acknowledge the role short-term rentals play in New York's tourism industry, helping New Yorkers generate extra income wile opening access to rural areas with few traditional lodging options. They argue, however, that the rapid growth the of industry has exacerbated the housing crisis by reducing housing availability, driving up costs and displacing long-term residents.

Opponents say it tears at the very fabric of New York’s vacation industry.

Assemblymember Pat Fahy said that ultimately, the signal from the governor’s office that she would support the bill if it arrived on her desk paved the way for 45 minutes of debate in the wee hours of Saturday morning before it passed the Assembly.

She told Spectrum News 1 the bill is about “leveling the playing field.”

“Motels and hotels are paying sales tax and occupancy tax on who is staying there, and we need the same from short term rentals,” she said.

She argued the bill isn’t just about leveling that playing field monetarily, but is also about beginning to regulate an unwieldy and unfettered industry.

“These are businesses; we are not saying you can’t have a short term rental, we just need you to register so we have a sense of where these businesses are,” she said.

Co-sponsored in the state Senate by Michelle Hinchey, the bill also gained support from local leaders as well as the New York State Association of Counties.

“Under this new legislation, New York will have a fair system for short-term rentals that levels the playing field and benefits local communities by funding essential services, such as public safety, social services, and infrastructure improvements,” said Executive Director Stephen Acquario.

The bill, however, faced opposition from Republicans along with some business advocates. The Travel Tech Association argues that short term rentals are a staple of upstate New York's tourism industry, and the bill being signed into law would make things more difficult on both sides, travelers and the owners of these properties.

“The newly passed short-term rental bill will make travel more expensive, reduce the income potential for thousands of New Yorkers who rent their homes to make ends meet, and impose a complex system of regulation that will hurt the upstate economy,” President & CEO Laura Chadwick told us in a statement.

Citing Albany’s recent stint hosting the NCAA women's basketball tournament, Fahy countered that the money collected will ultimately go toward enhancing New York State’s tourism industry.

“It is the local tourism agencies that put together those economic development packages. That comes out of the occupancy tax that is only paid by hotels and motels when we have a billion-dollar industry that is not paying,” she said.

Fahy added that there is also a public safety aspect to the bill, so that municipalities can better understand the occupancy of buildings in case of fire or other emergency.