Room tax up in city, county |

Room tax up in city, county

by Sally J. Taylor

Room tax revenue in May bounded upward in the city and nosed up in Douglas County while occupancy rates on both sides of the state line continued to increase.

The city collected $466,691 in transient occupancy taxes, a 29.87 percent increase compared to May of 1998. Collections for the fiscal year, which began in October, are 9.9 percent ahead of last year.

“It looks good,” City Manager Kerry Miller said. “It looks like the economy is robust. We hope it continues through the summer.”

Douglas County, where the fiscal year runs from July to June, collected $442,601 in May in room taxes from the Lake Tahoe portion of the county. That’s a 1.8 percent increase compared to May 1998 collections of $434,601.

The county is enjoying a somewhat steady increase at 6 percent for the first 11 months of the fiscal year.

“It’s been a good year just in terms of access into the lake with good weather and good road conditions,” said Douglas County manager Dan Holler. “Room rates are also up a little (adding to collections).

“We’re pleased with what we’ve seen.”

In the lake-portion of Douglas County, where the casinos provide the bulk of lodging properties, occupancy in May was 76.6 percent, 4.9 percent more than a year ago. The price of a room increased to $73.88 from a May 1998 rate of $71.32.

The city’s occupancy rate averaged 35 percent in May for a 4 percent increase compared to May 1998. The cost of a room went up an average of $8.82 to $57.94 per night for a 4 percent increase.

Room taxes are considered an indicator of economic health in communities where tourism is a major industry. Steady increases in revenue, room rates and room costs are considered indicators of a growing economy.

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