TOT debate expected to pack Council meeting
Mayor Judy Brown says the city has received numerous responses from residents and organizations strongly urging the council against adjusting its room tax formula and scrapping the arts coordinator position in order to help pay for the proposed ice rink.
“I don’t think in my three years on the council there has been as much response to any issue as there has been to this one,” Brown said.
She said she expects at least 100 people to show up at Tuesday’s South Lake Tahoe City Council meeting where the issue will be addressed.
“It takes three votes to vote it down,” she said. “I will be voting against it. I want to restore our arts program; I want the 2 percent (Transient Occupancy Tax) to remain the same.”
In a community recreational needs survey, the ice rink was ranked third in order of importance, behind ball fields and bike trails. The South Tahoe Alliance for Recreation supports a special-use tax for the June 2000 election to raise money for recreational development. However, some city officials want to see an up-and-running ice rink before a bond measure could make it happen.
A subcommittee of council members has been meeting for two months, trying to come up with recommendations as to how the money can be raised. Their recommendation, to be discussed Tuesday, is to alter the way the city’s room tax – Transient Occupancy Tax – is used. With the proposed change, the city arts program coordinator position would be eliminated, and funding of the city’s Arts Program would then come from the general fund instead of room tax dollars.
The South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce and Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority receive most of the 2 percent promotional fund portion of the city’s room tax revenue. They still would receive funding but minus the revenue allotted for projects such as the ice rink.
Changes would go into effect next fiscal year, which starts in October.
Brown said she expects there will be unallocated money in the budget that could be used, rather than “robbing” the arts program and the promotional agencies.
What: South Lake Tahoe City Council meeting
When: Tuesday, 6 p.m.
Where: City Council Chambers, 1900 Lake Tahoe Blvd.
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