By Nicole Barde
This month’s meeting was held at the Mustang Ranch restaurant with the full Board of Directors in attendance. The meeting started with a moment of silence in memory of Brandi Lee who passed last week. Brandi was a longtime resident and a longtime Chamber of Commerce and Tourism worker and advocate. We will miss her.
The report on the Tourism Tax shows that proceeds are $26,977 below last year and they don’t exactly know why. Deny Dotson, VCTC Director, feels that it may even out to about $15k under by the end of the budget.
Board Member and Commissioner Lance Gilman stated that when the county did a brief audit of some of the addresses out in TRI that they show as Washoe County addresses….this means that any goods purchased by those TRI companies will have the tax applied to Washoe County and we lose out on that revenue. Since the VCTC relies on the tax as well as the lodging tax for a majority of its revenues it’s a REAL problem.
This is all tied up into a Gordian knot of issues involving the U.S. Postal Service, the legislature, and the Department of Taxation. Lance feels that the Department of Taxation is finally on board that there is a problem and that they have a role to play in fixing it. It needs to be addressed in some way soon since Lance says that there will be unprecedented construction coming up this year and next and all that tax revenue will go to Washoe if we can’t track it.
The Transient Lodging Tax is on track with the budget and $11,976 ahead of last year. There continue to be timing issues in the reporting as well as with the deposits. There was a recent change made to the Ordinance regarding timing of the reporting and the Ordnance will be sent out to all merchants so that they can understand the due dates better.
The total budget REVENUES actual of $670.8k YTD is dead on to Budget but the EXPENSES actual of $849.9k YTD is $151k over budget. As of December 2015 the VCTC General Fund balance is at $315.4k down from $334.5k as of November 2015. Another draw down. Deny feels that the fund should be back up to $340-$350k by June or July. I Hope so.
Deny presented a brief Cemetery Gin update and got Board approval for an additional run in order to meet the upcoming demand. Looks like there is a pretty decent profit being made on this. See the projections HERE
RAD Marketing gave its report, Liquid Blue gave an update to the upcoming events. The Father Daughter Dance has twice the signups this year over last, and the Oyster Fry is also has an increase in tickets sold. Due to its popularity the venue will become a limiting factor. Liquid Blue will look at how to spread the event out thru town, or look into closing the street. They are currently recruiting cooks since with more visitors we need more vendors serving up the product. Lance said that he may have his two restaurants have separate booths this year to add to the vendor booths.
Liquid Blue also reports that ALL events are currently online and tickets are for sale for all of them including the Camel Races and The Way it Was Rodeo. You can even choose your seating preferences.