Letter: Vote ‘Yes’ on Measure T in South Lake Tahoe (opinion)
Measure T is not about jobs and taxes or affordable housing. These sound bites are largely misleading: Voters beware!
If Measure T is passed, transient occupancy taxes will not decrease by millions because the majority of the displaced visitors would stay in licensed hotels. The biggest portion of the tax loss would take place in high demand periods, including summer, events and holidays. Limiting rental units, including hotels, is and has always been essential in S Lake Tahoe.
The greatest tourist complaints about S Lake Tahoe are road congestion, lack of parking and long service delays during these high demand periods.
The 1,400 to 1,600 vacation rental units, when fully occupied during the high demand periods, significantly contribute to these problems. While most single hotel room guests come with one car, vacation rentals with multiple occupancy come with more. The number of cars exceed the number of vacation unit.
The argument of job reduction is un-true. There are not enough available employees in S Lake Tahoe to support its businesses and residents. Just ask non-vacation owner businesses: They cannot find sufficient employees in S Lake.
The people that profit from vacation rentals in residentially zoned areas understandably want to protect their investments (“no” on T), and those people who understandably want to maintain zoning integrity and manage tourism growth want to eliminate vacation rentals in residential neighborhoods (“yes” on T).
Enforcing current existing zoning without exceptions that were added by politicians will restore the integrity of zoning and reduce traffic and parking congestion in high demand periods. A thousand vacation rental owners may be hurt by a vote “no,” but tens of thousands of visitors and residents will benefit from the “Yes” vote.
South Lake Tahoe, California
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