Letter to the editor: Measure C not the answer to fix South Lake Tahoe’s roads
August 24, 2017
It's time to wake up! Often legislation is passed because of malaise. Measure C is a proposed one-half percent sales tax increase, endorsed by the chamber of commerce and the lodging association, that intends to fund repairs to our roadways and improve drainage.
The huge problem with Measure C is that it would create an exorbitant financial burden on Tahoe residents who could be paying this tax for the next 15 years. Long after peak tourism, locals could continue to pay this tax for the damage to our community. In essence, full-time residents would be paying the majority of this tax to finance the repairs for our over-crowded and dilapidated roads!
This sales tax would not only hurt residents, it will also hurt our local businesses. If Measure C passes, all non-food items would become more expensive; that new snowboard, bike, or even diapers will cost your family more. This increase would result in more locals desiring to purchase many items away from our town!
So why would the chamber and the lodging association support this tax? Even though such a tax would hurt residents and local businesses, the chamber and lodging association do not want to deter tourism. Though in light of our congestion, poor cellphone reception and inflated housing market, it's unlikely that a transient cccupancy yax increase will keep visitors away from one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
As locals we should support legislation that would shift the expense for repairs to our community off locals and onto transient populations that come in droves during peak seasons. The transient occupancy tax should be where we see the increase instead of on a sales tax.
The occupancy tax increase would fix our roads and perhaps bring some correction to our unnaturally inflated housing market. Let's ensure that locals can continue to afford living in beautiful Tahoe.
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