I don’t care if Measure Y in Nevada City passes–this is the sort of issue that only the town’s self-absorbed residents could get passionate about–but I couldn’t help notice the mayor’s attitude toward the town’s declining share of the Transient Occupancy Tax.
Figures released earlier this week–perhaps to influence voting on Measure Y–reveal the town’s share of the county TOT has declined from 23 percent in 2003 to 11 percent in 2014, while Grass Valley’s share has grown from 10 percent to 22 percent in the same period.
The trend also impacts the amount of money spent with local merchants and sales tax the city collects, according to Council member Evans Phelps, who opposes Y. “…for every dollar spent on lodging, it translates to five dollars spent in town,” she told The Union.
TOT revenue makes up about 9 percent of the city’s budget, a budget that can barely cover the modest services provided by the government. But that doesn’t seem to concern Mayor Jennifer Ray, who supports Measure Y.
Ray told The Union the decline in TOT does not reflect a financial crisis, because 40 percent of the city’s revenue comes from property tax. Huh? Of course, Ray is one of the council members who did nothing for three months after the fire department had to reduce services because of a lack of funds.
The good news: She’ll be out of office in January.