South Lake Tahoe City Council to discuss sending tax increases to voters
South Lake Tahoe City Council is poised to send a pair of tax measures to voters this November.
Both the city’s hotel tax, known as Transient Occupancy Tax, and its sales tax would increase under the proposals, which could be decided by voters on Nov. 8.
The council is asking voters to approve a two-percent increase to the Transient Occupancy Tax to improve the city’s recreational facilities. The increase would raise approximately $2 million annually for the city and would require approval by two-thirds of voters.
“The amount of the increase, two percent citywide, will be utilized for the special purpose of constructing, operation and maintenance of recreational facilities, specifically including the construction of a recreational complex as set forth in the Recreational Master Plan,” city attorney Tom Watson wrote in a staff report.
The council is also proposing a half-percent increase in the city’s sales tax for the general fund. An advisory measure is associated with the sales tax increase and would allow voters to suggest housing, road construction and maintenance or city facilities and equipment as the recipient of the money from the tax increase.
The increase would also raise an estimated $2 million annually and would require approval by a majority of voters.
“The City Council has placed in the Resolution that if an option receives more than 60 percent of the vote, that option would receive 100 percent of the revenue generated by the increase in Sales Tax,” Watson wrote in a separate staff report. “Should no option receive more than 60 percent, the top two voted options would receive a proportional share of the revenue.”
During a May 17 meeting, City Councilman Tom Davis urged fellow council members to make sure the sales tax increase has precise language and voters know what they are getting for a “yes” vote.
“I’m a little concerned about splitting the baby a little bit here and having three options here,” Davis said. “It starts confusing people what it’s for.”
Under the current proposal, a unanimous vote of the City Council would be required to change the priority or priorities established by the vote on the advisory measure.
The City Council will discuss the tax proposals at its next regular meeting, which starts at 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 7, at Lake Tahoe Airport.