County officials were taken aback by the news that the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority initiated a bill to require that the county turn over the 1 percent transient lodging rental tax it collects.
A bill draft was filed on Dec. 10, 2022, after commissioners balked at a couple of requests for $600,000 from the visitors authority.
The tax generated $1.2 million a year and must be spent on transportation at Lake Tahoe.
It had previously gone to build the parking garage and Tahoe Transportation Center. Commissioners set aside a portion of it to pay for the Kahle Drive Complete Streets program, though that may benefit from federal funding.
Senate Bill 213 was filed on March 6, four days after county commissioners approved spending $520,000 on the microtransit system Lake Link.
County Manager Patrick Cates said he’d received a call Wednesday from the chairman of the committee saying that the bill was not introduced.
“I’m disappointed that came about but it is dead,” Cates said. “It does leave a bad taste in my mouth.”
This is the second time the visitor’s authority has gone to the Legislature over a funding issue.
In 2017, the Legislature approved charging $5 per room to help fund the Tahoe Blue Events Center.
Commissioners voted to stand pat on their opposition to a bill that would form a regional planning agency.
Senate Bill 81 would require the county managers from Western Nevada to meet with the cities of Reno and Sparks and lawmakers in an effort to deal with regional planning agencies.
Commissioner Wes Rice said Lyon and Storey officials believe the bill is an effort to obtain more of the funding from the commercial developments occurring in those counties.
“They are concerned the larger counties want a bigger piece of the pie that is Tesla and Panasonic,” he said.
Cates said there’s a possibility that Carson City and Douglas would be dropped from the bill, but commissioners said they didn’t want to break ranks with the other rural counties.