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Committee has a budget plan

Susan Wood, Tahoe Daily Tribune

The South Lake Tahoe City Council will hash out revenue proposals to help balance its 2002-03 budget today at 6 p.m. in chambers.

The mission involves developing a way to close a $2-million shortfall in time to place an initiative on the Nov. 5 ballot. The deadline to get a measure to the El Dorado County Registrar of Voters is June 19.

Among the ideas, a proposal from a budget committee spinoff coalition has made it to the table, and the council is set to discuss it.

Subcommittee member Dennis Crabb introduced the plan to the South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce last week.

“It has some things in it we don’t like, but we have to share the burden,” Crabb said, trying to strike a compromise among the various interested factions.

The plan calls for guests to pay a $1-per-room-per-night fee on motels on top of a 10-percent transient occupancy tax that is already in place. Properties in the city’s redevelopment zone charge 12 percent.

The fee is estimated to generate $900,000, the same amount the city projects it would rake in with a 1-percent hike in TOT.

Also as part of the new plan, an optional 50 cents more may rake in $450,000 into the city coffers — with a four-year sunset clause that allows for revisiting the set plan.

And if the city enacts an aggressive TOT collection program to hold delinquent properties accountable, an estimated $100,000 will turn into city funds, the coalition highlighted.

Another aspect of the plan includes increasing the business license fees above the $1,500 cap, which may bring in another $430,000.

If business at the Lake Tahoe Airport may resume at a later date, the “coalition” endorses the city save $120,000 by mothballing the airport tower.

The coalition stressed the value in strengthening the economy. Within this strategy, the ideas of establishing a business improvement district and building excitement over a proposed convention center have made the “to-do” list of options.

The coalition, echoing other city sources, projected additional revenues from redevelopment — mainly at Stateline — will pay off in three to four years.

In other redevelopment business, the City Council may award a bid to White Rock Construction to build a temporary plaza at Ski Run Marina. The job, estimated to cost $84,605, involves laying sod and creating a parking area for the village site at the northern end of Ski Run Boulevard.

The council may also award a bid to install 32 electrical hookups for recreational vehicles at Campground By The Lake, a cash-cow site for the city. The job, which may be awarded to All Power Electric, is estimated at $51,882.


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