What can council do to avoid raising taxes? (Opinion) | TahoeDailyTribune.com

What can council do to avoid raising taxes? (Opinion)

Kenny Curtzwiler / Columnist
Kenny Curtzwiler

One thing the current council can do to avoid raising taxes on both residents and visitors is stop trying to save the planet by jumping on every bandwagon program out there. There is no money in saving the planet. If there was a way to tax sunlight, we would have solar power yesterday.

When people go on vacation they do not care one whit about anyone’s problems. They go on vacation to get away from their own problems.

The cities of Vail and Breckenridge have a “lift ticket tax.” The city of Vail has had a tax for a long time and the city gets over $4.5 Million dollars a year from Vail Corp. Breckenridge voted to implement a lift ticket tax a few years ago and they now get a guaranteed $3.5 Million a year.

Vail has fought both of them and has lost every time because it went to a vote of the people. When Vail knew they were going to lose the vote they worked with their cities to help out with affordable housing and transportation.

We are the only community with a ski resort that does not have an adequate transportation system or adequate workforce housing. I am not sure where our transportation system gets their ridership numbers from. I am on the road everyday and I have yet to see a full bus, or even anyone on them.

We have been giving money to the Tahoe Transportation District for as long as I can remember. I’ve been here 46 years, and I have yet to see any results. When The Tahoe Chamber (Nevada Based), TTD and its District Manager Carl Hasty present their skewed surveys, they include quite a bit of “We Feel Opinions.” They always include Truckee, Incline Village, and a multitude of other resorts.

While I appreciate their efforts, I do not care one little bit about anyone but South Lake Tahoe and Meyers. We need to start taking care of ourselves.

Gary Casteel presented, through Dreu Murin, a comprehensive report on the perceived over tourism some think we have. Traffic counts are down according to the NV DOT and our own Casinos. Business levels are down with quite a few of them going out of business. The vacancy rate for commercial is around 30% and we have a serious lack of employees. Solution? Perhaps it is time we became of full blown city with an elected Mayor and a full time council, both of which should be compensated accordingly.

We currently have a part time council running a full time city. The problems we have now are in no way the fault of past or present councils. Stop listening to the “Regulars” with their out of town surveys. Try listening to the people who actually helped build this town and gave everything to live here.

Kenny “Tahoe Skibum” Curtzwiler is a 46-year resident and business-owner. He can be reached at skibum96155@gmail.com or through his Facebook, Ken Skibum Curtzwiler.

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