City may request room tax hike
After a nearly 40 percent decrease in tax revenue from Fiscal 2006, the Carson City Convention & Visitors’ Bureau board is considering requesting raising the room tax rate from 10 percent to 13 percent.
The Carson City Convention & Visitors’ Bureau board could request Monday that the Board of Supervisors raise the rate. The bureau is funded by room taxes collected from hotels and motels.
Depending on economic conditions, the new tax would raise an additional $300,000 to $450,000 for the bureau a year, said Candy Duncan, bureau executive director.
That money could be used to support tourism marketing, sports tournaments, parks and recreation and the V&T Railway project, she said.
The bureau expects to collect about $912,000 in room taxes this fiscal year, down 39 percent from the $1.5 million collected two years ago, she said.
Dwight Millard, chairman of the visitors’ bureau board, said he doesn’t support raising the room tax now without a specific plan of how the money would be spent.
“We’re not raising taxes just because we want to raise taxes,” he said.
David Friedrich, owner of the Hampton Inn & Suites in Carson City, said the economy has slowed business this year and forced him to lower rates.
A higher room tax would cut into his shrinking profits, he said. Friedrich called raising the tax “ridiculous.”
“I just don’t know why people feel they can afford a tax increase with how the economy is now,” he said.
Malkiat S. Dhami, owner of the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites in Carson City, said business has been “very, very slow” this year. It would be a bad time for a new tax, he said.
Dhami owns Holiday Inns in Carson City, Reno and Minden.
“We are hurting here, especially in Carson,” he said.