Carson City hotel-motel tax discount eliminated

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Carson City lodging properties will no longer be receiving a small discount for paying their occupancy transient tax early.

Last month the Carson City Culture and Tourism Authority sent a letter to the city’s hotels and motels informing them that the 2 percent discount no longer applied after an opinion issued by the District Attorney’s office determined it was improperly instituted.

The discount dates to 2005 and let lodging businesses apply a 2 percent discount if taxes were remitted by the 15th of each month. But the plan was never approved by the Board of Supervisors as required, according to the DA’s opinion.

David Peterson, executive director, CCCTA, told the authority Tuesday that he had received “very limited feedback,” from the properties, who received the letter about three weeks ago.

For fiscal years 2015 through 2019 the discount ranged from anywhere from $25,000 to $39,000 per fiscal year.

After the meeting, Peterson said the city does not intend to seek supervisor approval to reinstate the discount.

The CTA also approved an agreement with the city to provide administrative services for fiscal years 2020 and 2021 funded by 2 percent of the 11 percent room tax. The agreement goes to the Board of Supervisors Thursday for its approval.

The board approved the CTA’s lease agreement with Carson City Square, Inc., through 2021. The two-year lease is for 3,816 square feet in the offices the CTA currently occupies for $112,136.

The agreement then renews automatically each year for up to three years unless the CTA provides notice to end the lease.

“It gives us time to look for a building to purchase,” said Peterson.

The CTA heard two presentations, one from its new marketing partner, KPS3 on a set of guiding principles for the bureau, and another from Destination Analysts, Inc., on a traveler survey.

The survey of 415 travelers who were familiar with Carson City found the city’s most appealing aspects were scenic beauty and history, followed by overall ambience, affordability, safety, V&T Railway and the cost of getting there.

KPS3 discussed plans for revamping the tourism authority’s website, a mockup of which will be brought to the CTA’s September meeting.

During that discussion, the authority discussed the blue line in the city’s historic west side. The deteriorating line in the sidewalk that marked the path has been removed, and Peterson said funding has not been identified for plaques to replace it. Plans are also to provide the information needed to take the walk at the tourism website, which can be accessed via smart phones.

But several members of the CTA said they would like to see more effort put into finding a way to add markers on the trail to aid walkers.

“We have an elderly visitor population,” said Mike Riggs, vice chairman and president of the Downtown Business Association. “We need to find a way to complete the project and include that group.”


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