Carson City’s room tax hike called competitive

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The head of Carson City’s Visitors Bureau noted a lodging room tax hike won’t be uncompetitive regionally, but he will discuss it with hospitality field executives here.

The Visitors Bureau board this week recommended the Carson City Board of Supervisors boost the local lodging tax from 10 to 11 percent to raise about $100,000 a year for an arts and culture plan.

“They’re at 13, 13 and a half,” said Joel Dunn of room tax rates in the Reno area and on the Nevada side at South Lake Tahoe.

Brian Rivers of the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority and Carol Chaplin of the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority (LTVA) said those were the rates.

Rivers, the Reno-Sparks’ authority director of finance, said in Washoe County the rate was 13 or 13.5 percent depending on location. He said Washoe County has lodging rooms in Reno, Sparks and Incline Village.

He said the rates were last increased in 2009.

Chaplin, LTVA executive director, said the transient occupancy tax on the Nevada side of the lake’s south end is 10 percent but there’s a 3 percent lodging license fee as well.

“So we are effectively at 13 percent here,” she said. “From my perspective, Carson City is still very competitive in that world.”

Dunn and the board justified the hike here to 11 percent as a way to beef up cultural tourism offerings. Dunn said it’s a growing trend now in travel.

He also told the board Tuesday five of the six major properties in Carson City favored the plan, basically, but some smaller lodging concerns did show up to object.

The board approved the hike without dissent but ordered Dunn to contact representatives of all lodging properties about both the tax and plans for its use. The money is to hire an arts and culture point person.

“It’s not putting our properties at a competitive disadvantage,” Dunn said, but he’ll “meet with all the properties — particularly those that contribute to the room tax. It will take a little time.”

He said the issue likely won’t reach the city’s governing board until some time next month.


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