Douglas eyes 3 percent hike in lodging license tax
GARDNERVILLE (AP) – Douglas County commissioners are considering a 3 percent lodging license tax to raise more than $1.3 million a year for county tourism, parks and recreation before state legislators do it themselves and take the proceeds for state programs.
The commission had been planning to put the 3 percent tax on the November ballot to help shore up room tax revenue that has been declining for 10 years.
But County Manager T. Michael Brown urged the panel on Thursday to take the action themselves after the district attorney’s office concluded they have the authority to impose it on businesses that rent lodgings.
“It was understood that there was a very real possibility that the Legislature would not approve an increase for Douglas County,” Brown said in a report.
“In fact, it was a real possibility that the 2011 Legislature would increase the … rate by 3 percent themselves and take the funds to support state programs just as they did to Clark and Washoe counties in the 2009 legislative session,” he said.
Brown said an ordinance could be place by June 1. He said if the tax increase was passed on the November ballot and the 2011 Legislature approved it, the earliest the county would begin collecting funds would be July 1, 2011.
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