TRPA continues study to raise money |

TRPA continues study to raise money

Andy Bourelle

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency staff received direction from the governing board Wednesday to continue with the second phase of the Regional Revenue Source Analysis, and to obtain public input on the study.

Arthur Bauer and Associates, Inc., the consultant for the study, presented its findings to the governing board at its monthly meeting.

Phase one outlines potential sources of revenue for the local contribution to TRPA’s Environmental Improvement Program, how much money the options would raise and what action would need to be taken by federal, state or local governments to achieve the actions.

Phase two is supposed to include a detailed economic analysis of the potential solutions, identifying whether the options could have a negative economic impact on Lake Tahoe.

The EIP, a working document which calls for the need of $900 million over the next 10 years to preserve Lake Tahoe’s clarity, identifies that the local contribution should be $100 million. However, another $100 million is expected to be needed for maintenance of the preservation programs.

Twenty potential solutions which could help raise the $200 million were looked at in the study. The list likely will be narrowed down to the most viable solutions within two months.

“The next step is to take this out into the community and talk about how do we narrow it down to two or three solution packages,” said Jim Baetge, executive director of TRPA.

TRPA hopes to have the results of phase two by 1999.

Some of the potential sources of revenue identified in the phase one draft include basin-wide sales and fuel taxes, entertainment taxes, scenic drive fees, vehicle registration fees in Northern Nevada and California counties, boat fuel taxes and more.

The TRPA board also directed staff to pursue more alternatives, including what Don Miner, representative of Douglas County, described as “rifle approach” western regional gas tax, which could potentially cover all of the $900 million.

“I think it’s somewhat arbitrary to to break up the billion dollars,” he said of the perceived costs which have been divided on federal, state and local levels.

The board also approved the allocation of $1,000 to go toward phase two, in order to start other local agencies in committing funds to the project.

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