TOT hike to fund entertainment venue |

TOT hike to fund entertainment venue

by Amy Alonzo

An ordinance amendment that raises the Transient Occupancy Tax was adopted by Douglas Commissioners during their Thursday meeting.

The tax will go up 1 percent at all transient lodging businesses within the Lake Tahoe Township effective July 1. About 400 businesses will be impacted.

The tax is currently set at 3 percent, with 2 percent going to the Carson Valley and Tahoe Douglas visitor authorities to grow tourism and 1 percent going to the county to fund economic vitality efforts.

The increased tax revenue will be used to continue feasibility studies for an all-season events and performance center in Stateline next to MontBleu Casino at the corner of Highway 50 and Lake Parkway.

Representing the Tahoe Douglas Visitors Authority, Lew Feldman showed several schematics of what the building could possibly look like. The renderings depicted a modern-looking building with large glass windows facing the highway.

As depicted, the building will be about 120,000-square-feet under roof, he said. Hosting a concert-type event it could accommodate up to 6,000 people; if the main floor is being used for the event the building could seat about 2,000-3,000 people.

The project has almost universal support from commissioners — Dave Nelson cast the sole vote against the project.

“To my fellow colleagues sitting on the board, I ask the proverbial question I asked at the beginning — why wouldn’t we vote for this?” asked Commissioner Steve Thaler.

Also at the meeting the board agreed to continue discussion of the FY2018-22 strategic plan and adoption of the 2017-18 Capital Improvement Project (CIP) budget and five-year CIP plan until next month.

The board will discuss the CIPs at its May 4 meeting and the strategic plan at its May 18 meeting.

The five-year CIP includes about $42 million in funded capital projects and another $113 million in unfunded projects, said Vicki Moore, interim chief financial officer.