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Lodging to take closer look at tourism tax

Susan Wood

The South Lake Tahoe Lodging Association is unveiling a draft of its proposed Tourism Business Improvement District today at 4 at Inn By the Lake on Lake Tahoe Boulevard.

The presentation from the association will explore the details behind this district, including the reasons for creating a fee dedicated to promoting the lake in a highly competitive tourism world.

As it stands, the proposal would require a majority of buy-in from the lodging establishments in town in order to add on a $2 or $3 auxiliary fee to its room rentals. This fee would be imposed in addition to the 10- or 12 percent transient occupancy tax lodging properties charge their guests per night in the standard or redevelopment zone, respectively.

The proposed district, which requires formation assistance from the city, was born out of the defunct Tourism Promotion Business Improvement District created by the city a year ago. That controversial district led to a legal challenge and a stalemate and was eventually dissolved.

The city’s finance department expects to return by April the fee assessment placed on business license renewals with interest for the former BID. Lodging’s BID money would be designated to marketing efforts spun out of the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority and South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce. The latter may have a new name by then, given Tuesday’s vote for it to merge with the Tahoe Douglas Chamber of Commerce.

The association plans to ask its consultant, Downtown Resources of Sacramento, to return with the proposal in mid-April. The consultant’s fee is being picked up initially from the LTVA, with the idea lodging would pay back the estimated $20,000.


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