Carson City visitors soon may pay an extra 2 percent tax on motel room rentals to help fund the reconstruction of the Virginia & Truckee Railroad.
Carson City supervisors approved the first reading of an ordinance Thursday to authorize a room-tax increase expected to generate $220,000 a year and net a total of $2.6 million in five years for the project.
V&T Railroad project advocates are hoping to reconstruct the historic railway that was built between 1869 and 1871. The line would extend 17 miles from Virginia City to East Carson City. Construction hasn't started, but much of the groundwork has been completed.
"There is a real value to this to Northern Nevada," said Dwight Millard, chairman of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. "I see this as a doable project."
The visitors bureau hopes the railroad will boost tourism and economic development in Northern Nevada, specifically setting the Carson City area apart from other gaming state venues, Millard said.
Board members were concerned Thursday that a business impact statement was not done for the ordinance. They asked the District Attorney's Office to clarify whether a statement should be submitted before final approval. A second reading is expected at the next supervisors' meeting Dec. 21.
If approved, the new tax will bring the total room-tax rate to 10 percent.
Supporters of the V&T Railroad project are holding a silent-auction fund-raiser from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the Plaza Hotel, 801 S. Carson St.