Council to talk business tax, more paid parking |

Council to talk business tax, more paid parking

Adam Jensen

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Voters could again be asked to decide whether South Lake Tahoe should change its tax structure to decrease costs for most businesses in the city.

On Tuesday, the South Lake Tahoe City Council will consider sending proposed changes to its business tax license structure to the ballot for a decision June 5.

The proposed changes would decrease the taxes businesses pay on their gross receipts by approximately 5 percent, while increasing the cap on the business license tax from $3,448 to $20,000, according to a city staff report.

“Therefore, the business license tax will be decreased for approximately 99 percent of the businesses in the City, and increased for 1 percent of businesses,” according to the report.

In November 2010, the city placed a similar measure, Measure E, on the ballot. The measure was narrowly defeated after 50.81 percent of voters said “no.” The new measure will eliminate an annual adjustment tied to the Consumer Price Index, which had drawn criticism from some business owners.

“Under the proposed ballot for June 2012, a business’ gross sales will need to exceed $20,000,000 to reach the maximum $20,000 annual business tax,” according to the staff report. “Approximately five businesses are currently grossing between $10,000,000 and $20,000,000 in the City. The measure will change the City Code to eliminate the annual adjustment tied to the Consumer Price Index, which was not included in Measure E.”

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If the measure reaches the ballot and is approved by more than 50 percent of voters, the measure would become effective July 1 and would generate between $100,000 and $200,000 annually for the city’s general fund, according to estimates.

The council meets starting at 9 a.m. at Lake Tahoe Airport.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting:

– The council will consider designating 300 paid parking spaces near Stateline Beach, Regan Beach and along sections of Venice Drive and Saddle Road.

Several streets in the area of the paid parking spaces would be designated as “permit-only” parking for residents due to an increase in demand for parking on streets near the paid parking areas, according to a city staff report.

Residents would be issued permits for their vehicles and the permit policy would include provisions for guests, according to the report.

Eighteen paid parking spaces were installed on Transit Way and Bellamy Court at a cost of $9,240. Between June 25 and Dec. 31 the spaces generated a little more than $22,048 in revenue for the city, not including citations.

Thirty-three parking kiosks needed for the additional paid parking spaces will cost about $255,000 over five years plus $80,000 annually. The paid parking spaces are expected generate about $350,000 a year in parking fees, according to city estimates.