Olympic Valley incorporation efforts end with application withdrawal
December 03, 2015
An effort to incorporate the Town of Olympic Valley has ended with proponents of incorporation withdrawing their application from the Local Agency Formation Commission. LAFCO is an independent and neutral state-required agency that must approve any incorporation efforts in the county. Incorporate Olympic Valley, the organization seeking incorporation, asserted that the town would be fiscally viable. However, LAFCO staff, and its retained fiscal consultant disagreed with the IOV assertions.
Placer County’s main concern focused on transient occupancy taxes, a tax added to lodging costs, collected in eastern Placer County and the North Lake Tahoe area. IOV’s view was that the proposed town would retain all TOT collected within its borders, in addition to, what the County believed was a disproportionate share of property taxes. Services funded by the TOT (regional tourism promotion, visitor services, transportation and infrastructure) benefit the entire Lake Tahoe and eastern county areas and are not specific to Olympic Valley.
“We could not agree with IOV because the services funded through the TOT are for the entire region, not solely directed to the proposed town,” said County Executive Officer David Boesch. “If the proposed town were to retain all TOT collected within its borders, it would have to reimburse the county for the regional services we provide. That expense would consume a significant portion of any TOT that is collected, which, in our opinion, is a major factor that prevents the town from being fiscally viable.”
The county annually contracts with the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association to promote tourism in the area. TOT funds provide the association with the revenue to market the area and improve amenities and infrastructure that benefit both visitors and residents.
“We intend to better understand the underlying concerns of the IOV supporters and what led to the efforts to incorporate,” said Boesch. “We look forward to future discussions and improved public engagement, so we can work together towards developing solutions to the issues that drove them to desire incorporation in the first place.”