City Council to discuss raising transient occupancy tax, establishing vacancy tax

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — City Council on Tuesday will discuss raising the transient occupancy tax and a possible vacancy tax to help fund housing initiatives.

The council during a meeting on Jan. 24 asked for city staff to conduct community engagement about the potential for raising the TOT and establishing a real estate vacancy tax and during the meeting, council members will receive a presentation. 

The council last year authorized funding for a study that analyzed the option of increasing the TOT rate 17%, from 12% to 14%. It was estimated that the tax hike would annually generate approximately $1.8-2.2 million. 

The city has conducted five outreach meetings with stakeholders and have received a mixed bag of comments, with support and opposition expressed for both as well.

According to the city’s agenda for Tuesday’s meeting, “There was a general acknowledgement that there is a need to fund the City’s housing initiatives but not agreement on the best source. Significant concern was expressed regarding who should bear the impact of any funding source and that it should not impact low income residents that are most impacted by the housing crisis. Support and opposition were expressed for each of the two options as well as other ideas expressed for alternative funding sources which ranged from voluntary donation-based funding to enhanced infrastructure financing districts and community revitalization and investment authorities.”

The study also analyzed the option to establish a $3,000 annual fee for each vacant housing unit. Based on the current number of units held for seasonal or occasional use, the city said this option could annually generate approximately $16.8 million.

There was support expressed among some stakeholders that a vacancy tax may help reduce the large number of vacant homes which was viewed by some as having a significant impact on the community. Other stakeholders expressed concern about the legal risk associated with a vacancy tax given the current litigation against a recently imposed vacancy tax in another jurisdiction.

Also on the agenda

The council will also hold a public hearing for the Ski Run Business Improvement District to Levy Assessment for Business License Year 2023/2024.

Executive Summary: The City Council must hold a public hearing and shall consider all protests from business owners within the Ski Run Business Improvement District, received either in writing and submitted to the City Clerk prior to the Public Hearing or presented orally at the Public Hearing. If a majority of businesses (based on their BID assessment) do not provide written protests, the Council may adopt a new Resolution confirming the report as originally filed or as changed. This will allow the Finance Department to include the BID assessments with the annual business license renewal billing beginning in May for the 2023/2024 business tax year.

Requested Action / Suggested Motions: Pass a Resolution confirming the Ski Run Business Improvement District annual report and levying the assessment for business license year 2023/2024.

Agenda Item: Citizen Appointment to Arts, Culture and Tourism Commission

Executive Summary: At its Jan. 10 meeting City Council appointed members to serve on the City’s Boards and Commissions. At that time, Council requested a non-voting representative of the Boys and Girls Club organization be added to the Arts, Culture, and Tourism Commission. On March 24, Council passed Resolution 2023-013 including this position and the City Clerk Solicited applications.

One application was received for one non-voting representative of the Boys and Girls Club organization to the Arts, Culture and Tourism Commission (2-year term) — Aimi Xistra-Rich

Requested Action / Suggested Motions: Interview applicant and Pass a Motion appointing: 1 member to serve a two-year term to the Arts, Culture and Tourism Commission as a non-voting representative of the Boys and Girls Club Organization.

Agenda Item: Supplemental Analysis For Inclusionary Housing Requirement and In-Lieu Fee

Executive Summary: Consistent with City Council direction provided at the January 24, 2023 meeting, a supplemental analysis was completed to further inform discussion about a potential inclusionary housing requirement and in-lieu fee. The supplemental analysis is being presented to City Council for further discussion.

Requested Action / Suggested Motions: Receive presentation and provide direction to staff regarding the establishment of an inclusionary housing requirement and in-lieu fee.

Agenda Item: Amendments to Social Media Policy   

Executive Summary: City Council requested staff bring forward for consideration an amendment to the Social Media Policy, originally approved March 19, 2019, to allow elected and appointed officials to share City-originated social media posts to their own pages. The proposed amendment would allow for such sharing, while maintaining continued compliance with the Brown Act.

Requested Action / Suggested Motions: Pass a Resolution amending the Social Media Policy to allow members of the City Council, Boards, and Commissions to share posts from the City’s social media platforms to their respective social media pages.

Agenda Item: Bicycle Amenities and Wayfinding Signage Update

Executive Summary: The Bicycle Amenities and Wayfinding Project was determined to be a priority project by the City Council through a participatory budgeting process in 2021 that will be funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 revenue. The Department of Public Works proposes to update the South Tahoe Bikeway Signage System by installing new signage where gaps currently exist, including Quick Response “QR” codes to each existing, and proposing new signage that would link to the Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition’s Interactive “Tahoe Bike Map.” In addition, bicycle amenities such as bike repair stations, bike pumps, bike racks, and benches would be installed in select locations along the well-established bikeway network. The City intends to build on the hard work completed by the bicycle community in creating the Bicycle Transportation Signage System. Updating bicycle wayfinding signage and developing a plan to determine appropriate locations for bike repair stations, bike racks, and other associated bicycle amenities moves toward implementing the City’s Strategic Plan as it relates to Recreation and Equitable Access, as well as Connectivity (Priority 2 and Goal 2.3). This project was presented to the Planning Commission on March 23, 2023.

Requested Action / Suggested Motions: Receive and File.
CEQA Determination: This proposed project is categorically exempt from review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) under CEQA Guidelines Section 15301(c) Existing Facilities. The project involves negligible or no expansion of an existing use on existing highways and streets, sidewalks, gutters, bicycle and pedestrian trails, and similar facilities.

Agenda Item: Capital Improvement Program/Activities Update 2023

Executive Summary: The Engineering Division of the Public Works Department is responsible for planning, designing, and constructing of public works projects. This report will provide an update for the Council on the current Capital Improvement Program and other major activities.

Requested Action / Suggested Motions: Receive and File.

Agenda Item: Painted Crosswalk to Celebrate Pride Month

Executive Summary: On June 7, 2022, the City Council approved painting a crosswalk on the South Tahoe Bikeway Path – Lakefront between 3351 Lake Tahoe Blvd and Fremont Ave to celebrate Pride Month. At this location, there are a series of pedestrian markings at driveway locations (3 segments at South Tahoe Bikeway Path – Lakefront between 3351 Lake Tahoe Blvd and Fremont Ave). Staff is seeking Council direction whether to re-paint the crosswalk for an additional year.

Requested Action / Suggested Motions: Pass a Motion directing the Public Works Director on whether to re-paint crosswalk to celebrate Pride Month for 2023-24.
CEQA Determination: Painting of a crosswalk area is exempt from review under the California Environmental Quality Act under CEQA Guidelines section 15301 (Existing Facilities) because it is the maintenance or minor alteration of existing public facilities involving negligible or no expansion of existing or former use.

Agenda Item: City Clerk Compensation Increase

Executive Summary: At the November 1, 2022 Council Meeting, Council set the City Clerk’s compensation at Step 4, retroactive to the anniversary date of her last step increase (March 2, 2022). Pursuant to City Code 2.05.040(B), “Salaries and benefits of all other elected and appointed officers [besides the City Council] shall be as set forth by separate resolution of the city council.” Staff is recommending Council pass a Resolution setting the City Clerk Salary at step 5 ($9,615 per month), effective for the first full pay period after May 2, 2023.

Requested Action / Suggested Motions: Pass a Resolution setting City Clerk Compensation at Step 5 ($9,615 per month).

Agenda Item: Mayor and Mayor Pro Tempore Term Discussion and City Council Protocols Update Executive Summary: At the Dec. 13, 2022, meeting Council requested a discussion regarding a

potential 9-month term of office for the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tempore seats.

Subsequently, City staff identified proposed amendments to the City Council Protocols which reflects the 2023 regular meeting schedule, adds the Parking Authority of the City of South Lake Tahoe, updates the teleconferencing provisions due to changes in state law, and provides clarification to City Council Travel.

Requested Action / Suggested Motions: Discuss whether to change the term of Mayor and Mayor Pro Tempore from one year to nine months and provide direction to staff; and Pass a Motion approving the City Council Protocols as presented.

For the full agenda, visit

The meeting will be held at 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 2, at City Hall located at 1901 Lisa Maloff Way. Meetings are also live-streamed on Channel 21, city website at, YouTube at and via Zoom at

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