To the community,
The city of South Lake Tahoe claims to have a deficit. So why does the city hire consultants and a city attorney at $150,000 a year? It’s a puzzle. Also, new hires are made routinely. Are things what they are said to be or is this a game of pick a number statistics? Whatever.
The city, to increase revenue, now has a paid parking program. It’s called a user’s fee. It has caused a verbal storm by locals who oppose paid parking. Some folks believe the program will not raise the projected revenue.
Before rushing into paid parking, it would have been smart for the city to explore raising the hotel room tax, TOT. It has been the same for two decades. The tax on a non-redevelopment room is 10 percent, on a redevelopment room the tax is 12 percent.
At about the turn of the century, the City Council tried to increase the TOT, but the lodging folks united and killed the proposal. So now the city has a deficit and is stuck with a stagnant revenue base on a major industry.
The city should again try to increase the TOT, especially since it has imposed a paid parking free, a tax on the pocketbook of locals. The TOT should be 12 percent on all hotel rooms.
Bill Crawford, South Lake Tahoe