Tourism dollars on rise in Truckee
Special to The Union
A surge in Truckee tourism this past year has led to a significant increase in Transient Occupancy Tax revenue.
Between July 2018 and March 2019, Truckee raked in $3.5 million in TOT dollars, marking significant increases in each quarter.
From July through September last year, tax collection was up 19.9% from the same period the previous year reaching just under $1.4 million. From January to March this year around $1.3 million was collected, up 28.7% from last year. Between October and December Truckee collected around $900,000 which was up 22.6%.
“It really speaks to how a great ski season makes a really big difference in folks coming and staying in our community,” said Kim Szczurek, administrative services director for the Town of Truckee. Szczurek estimates that the town will be at $3.9 million by the end of the 4th quarter in June. “We could easily get to $4 million based on the strength that we’re seeing,” she said.
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The last quarter, April through June, is usually the smallest quarter Szczurek said. Last year the town collected just under $600,000 in that period. Staff will have the final numbers for the same period in 2019 at the end of July.
“We’re forecasting a record breaking TOT collection,” said Colleen Dalton, brand communications director for the Truckee Chamber of Commerce.
An economic impact report released by Visit California showed that tourism across Nevada County in 2018 grew 4.1% from 2017 with visitor spending reaching nearly $362 million and supporting 3,770 jobs in the county. Statewide visitor spending increased to $140.6 billion, with the tourism industry providing nearly 1.2 million jobs in 2018.
Visitor spending in Nevada County generated $13.1 million in local tax revenue last year. According to the report, without tourism each Californian household would have to pay an additional $890 in taxes each year to make up the difference for essential state programs such as public safety, infrastructure and parks.
In 2017, visitor spending in Nevada County reached $343.7 million, up 5% from 2016, and generated $12.5 million in local tax revenue.
“While this county report is a valid indicator for Truckee, we are very different from Grass Valley or Nevada City,” said Dalton.
Currently the Truckee Tourism Business Improvement District, is working on a report to measure the direct economic impact of tourism in Truckee to compare the data to similar mountain towns such as Mammoth.
Dalton said a study like this hasn’t been done in seven years. The report will be published this fall.
Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun, a sister publication of The Union based in Truckee. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-550-2652.
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