TDVA approves conservative budget |

TDVA approves conservative budget

by Sally J. Taylor

With only a short track record to judge how much revenue it will have to spend in the 1998-99 fiscal year, the Tahoe-Douglas Visitors Authority approved a conservative working budget on Wednesday with the hope of more to come.

“We have yet to feel a 12-month year,” said TDVA spokesman Steve Teshara, who projected an income of about $41,000 per month for the fiscal year that began July 1.

The TDVA met in November for the first time. It currently receives revenue from a 1 percent transient occupancy tax increase in Douglas County that took effect Oct. 1, 1997.

“We’re still simply at 1 percent,” Teshara said. While noting that transient occupancy tax collections could be above projections, he added, “I don’t think it’s prudent to speculate on that (increase).”

The 1998-99 budget, which passed unanimously, estimates revenue at $494,000, including a $173,000 roll over from 1997-98.

Expenses of $426,656 include a commitment to the bistate Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority of $246,666 for it’s current marketing plan developed with input from the TDVA. The LTVA fiscal year ends Sept. 30.

The TDVA budget allows for $64,000 in other promotions, chiefly airport advertising and airline cooperative programs.

Other expenses included $65,950 for administration, primarily legal and accounting services. The Lake Tahoe Gaming Alliance staff also serves as staff for the TDVA.

For 1999, the TDVA budget allots $90,000 for the second year of the Lake Tahoe Labor Day Celebration with the hope the LTVA will be able to match it.

The 1998 Labor Day event directly received about $184,000 from Douglas County, bypassing the funds to the TDVA, which was not organized enough to receive funds and write checks.

“It looks like we’re going to have scarce resources to be able to help (the LTVA) the first half of the calendar year of ’99,” said board member Skip Sayre, director of marketing for Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, hoping to dispel comments that the TDVA was withholding funds for various projects.”It’s important that we make that clear.”

While the four directors present agreed on the conservative approach, Steve Weissinger, TDVA director and county commissioner, stated that he expects TOT collections to be closer to $50,000 a month for tourism promotions by the TDVA.

Beginning July 1, 1999, the TDVA will begin to receive, over a period of about 11 years, additional TOT revenue until 65 percent of funds now used for county services are earmarked for tourism promotions by the TDVA.

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