Letter (Douglas Williams): Vote for Measure P
October 18, 2016
Why a vote for Measure P is actually a vote for road repairs, snow removal and affordable housing …
There are many important issues concerning the nation, California and South Lake on the Nov. 8 ballot. Not only will we decide on who the next president is, but we'll also be voting in two city officials, who some could argue will actually have a greater impact on our daily lives than the nation's leader.
Another vote that will have a huge impact on our community is Measure P. Measure P is seeking to increase the tourist occupancy tax in the City of South Lake by 2 percent, which in turn will bring in an extra $2 million in revenue each year that will be 100-percent solely tied to recreational initiatives. A win-win for our local community — without the community paying for it.
The first benefit to that community will be the redevelopment of the Recreation Center on Rufus Allen Boulevard – turning it from a one-level, 40-year-old, decaying monster into a two-level, state-of-the-art community facility. Once that is complete, beaches, bike paths and parks will also get to benefit from the extra tourist dollars.
Now $2 million dollars a year is a lot of money, and reading this I know that some of you are thinking that the money would be better spent on fixing the potholes, putting in new bike paths or building affordable housing. And indirectly, by voting Yes on Measure P, you will be putting more money toward those other vital projects because the recreation center, and all the other city-managed recreation, cost the General Fund millions of dollars each year; and those costs are only going to go up. Due to its age the swimming pool can't hold a consistent temperature, the dome roof is falling apart and every week there is a new maintenance issue to contend with. If Measure P fails, rather than $2 million of tourist dollars to put towards the building, the city will have to take funding from other projects and initiatives, and that way no one wins.
And for those concerned that a 2-percent TOT increase will discourage tourists, do not worry. The Lodging Association is 100-percent behind the increase; and as astute businessmen and women, they would not support an increase that would hurt their business. Tahoe will still have a lower TOT than many other California destinations; including Napa, San Diego and San Francisco; and the more recreational opportunities we can offer our tourists, the more they will want to come.
Measure P will build the facility that our community deserves, without costing the citizens a dime; and instead the city can put our taxes to work on other essential projects.
Lake Tahoe Lodging Association