Wedding Association to skip the county and head for the state |

Wedding Association to skip the county and head for the state

by Sally J. Taylor

The Lake Tahoe Wedding & Honeymoon Association on Wednesday side-railed an effort to raise wedding license fees via a county ballot initiative in favor of going to the state level.

During the first business meeting of the new 1999-2000 board of directors, they unanimously voted to “examine what it would take to pursue (a wedding promotional fee or tax) at the state level” in both California and Nevada.

Just what form that would take remains uncertain but it would most likely take nine months to go through the process and take a year before any funds could be collected. The Nevada Legislature won’t even be in session again until 2001.

A voluntary fee collected from businesses in the industry was advocated by former board president Jeff Kaufer as a faster way to start the promotional dollars rolling, even if state legislative action was pursued.

“The honor system is nice, but it’s not the most reliable system,” said board member David Anderson.

A city initiative proposal also died in favor of including the larger geographical area.

The association has long sought a way to raise funds to promote and increase the number of weddings performed and honeymoons taken at Lake Tahoe.

An initiative to increase wedding license fees was being prepared for the November ballot in the Tahoe Basin portion of El Dorado County. It ran into a road block when the county counsel’s office raised the question of its legality and probability of court challenges.

Proposition 218 closed the loopholes in Proposition 62, a preceding measure that restricted the ability of local governments to impose new fees and taxes. It remains to be clarified in court whether 218 preempts 62. If it does not, than the fee increase could be considered illegal.

“I like the legislative road,” said board Vice-President Linda Paul. “Even if we have to wait 9 months, it’s a more reliable process.”

Ken Daly, from Area Transit Management, warned the board that the proposal could get hung up on creating a special designation for the Lake Tahoe Basin. To increase its chances, he recommended the association seek resolutions of support for the proposal from other business and governmental organizations.

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