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Sales taxes in Tahoe City surpass resorts

Recent economic data paints a picture that defies the commonly held notion that Tahoe City’s economy is slumping.

According to figures released by Placer County for annual sales tax revenues from 1991 to 2006, Tahoe City’s retail sector surpassed that of any nearby Placer County community, including Squaw Valley and Northstar.

Over the past decade, Tahoe City consistently grossed a half-million dollars more in sales tax than other North Shore and Tahoe-area communities.



In 1991, the town took in almost four times as much retail revenue as Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows combined, which has taken in the second highest amount of sales tax.

And in 2006 – despite a well-established Village at Squaw Valley – Tahoe City’s figures were double those generated in Olympic Valley and Alpine Meadows.




“I think it’s the mix of retail sales opportunities that Tahoe City has, and that are just traditional to Tahoe City and somewhat limited in other areas,” said Executive Director Steve Teshara of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association.

After a first glance at the voluminous data, Teshara said Tahoe City’s two grocery stores, gas stations and indoor shopping mall help sustain the town’s economic vitality.

Placer County annually compiles sales tax data gathered from the state to look at regional trends, said Jennifer Merchant of the county’s Executive Office. The county charges sales tax on 7.25 percent of a retail transaction, and the amount collected is a direct indicator of business health.

This year, however, was the first time the county organized the data by community, Merchant said.

“Really, I think it’s looking within each area and finding out what functions are working and which ones aren’t working as well,” she said in a phone interview.

Placer County released the report last week to various local agencies. Officials from both the resort association and the Tahoe City Downtown Association said their respective boards will take a closer look at the information in the near future.


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