BID refunds coming soon |

BID refunds coming soon

Susan Wood

Bringing one of South Lake Tahoe’s most controversial issues nearly to an end, the city announced this week it would refund the money collected for the Tourism Promotion Business Improvement District in April.

The amount taken in assessments from businesses citywide amounts to $256,800, Finance Director Christine Vuletich reported. The city will also shell out $4,400 in interest.

The city has had to match and work off of two separate accounting systems – the business license database where the companies are kept and the financial system from which checks are issued.

The district was formed a year ago to fund marketing efforts after the city reduced subsidies supporting the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority and South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce. But its 11-member board recommended disbanding when there was no consensus of how to proceed.

The fee structure sparked outrage in sections of the community and prompted a legal challenge. Plaintiffs for the lawsuit said they would drop the suit when the money is refunded.

At the same time, the South Lake Tahoe Lodging Association is undergoing the creation of its own business improvement district to fund tourism marketing. The LTVA has loaned the association $20,000 to pay for the Sacramento consultant developing the proposal, with the idea the money would be paid back through fees collected by hotels.