The Club is watching with interest the proposed ban on VHRs in residential areas that will be on the November ballot. Our first concern is that any VHR reduction or ban would affect the amount of tourist occupancy tax (TOT) collected by the City, and while that does not directly affect the Club, it does affect the City’s ability to build a new Rec. Center.
Those of you who were members back in 2016 will recall that the Club supported Measure P, which increased TOT by 2% in the City center. The Measure passed by 67.9% of the vote, mostly due to the Club’s involvement, and the extra revenue from the 2% increase was applied directly to recreation projects, primarily the new Rec. Center. While the Club no longer wishes to be housed entirely within the new Rec. Center (we are too big and wish to expand further), we are still in talks with the City about having a site, most likely our Teen Center, in the new building.
If TOT decreases, the likelihood of a new Rec. Center, and therefore a Teen Center for the Club, also decreases. We still firmly believe that our community needs and deserves a superior Rec. Center to what we have now. It is no fault of the City, but buildings age and times change. In our opinion, a modern swimming pool, particularly with a dedicated area for younger children is a must. We also believe that a Teen Center in a recreation facility will be the perfect partnership. It will provide the teens with a space of their own, easy access to recreational activities, but still within walking distance of the middle school and the Club. The teen years are crucial for keeping youth engaged and involved in appropriate activities, and therefore space in a beautiful new facility will enable us to help more young people reach their full potential.
But, that is not our only concern with the proposed VHR ban. We believe that many of our families earn a living directly or indirectly from vacation rentals. From talking with members and parents we know that families are rental agents, housekeepers, landscapers, snow removers, restaurant owners, grocery store clerks and many other businesses that benefit from the tourists who stay in local VHRs. A reduction in VHRs will mean a reduction in tourists, and a reduction in our families’ incomes. Living in Tahoe is already expensive; from the high costs of houses to the price we pay for food and gas. Many of our families will not survive a decrease in their income and will be forced to change livelihood or leave the area. Such life changes put incredible strain on children and can have an adverse effect upon their studies and social and emotional health.
However, we do also appreciate that our City needs to address the issue of affordable housing and balancing community with tourism. So we would like to hear from you – our families – as to how the VHR ban would affect you. The Club believes that it is important to represent our members and their needs to the wider community and we will pass on your feedback as well as any data we can collect.
Send information, particularly if you are employed in a business affected by VHRs, to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Jude on 530 542 0838.
Thank you in advance for helping with this important topic.