South Lake Tahoe residents host a kick-off event and film screening of “Room and Board: A Tahoe Housing Crisis Documentary” to kick off 2024 residential vacancy tax ballot initiative
South Lake Tahoe residents are organizing to get a residential vacancy tax on the ballot in 2024, starting with a kick-off event on September 13.
Starting at 6:00 p.m. at South of North Brewing, the event will include a film screening of “Room and Board: A Tahoe Housing Crisis Documentary,” created by North Lake Tahoe filmmakers and housing advocates, as well as a vacancy tax Q&A session.
Advocates for a residential vacancy tax cite that 7,300 houses (45 percent of all housing units) in South Lake Tahoe sit vacant most of the year while local residents struggle to find housing. According to city data, housing prices have doubled in the past eight years, while the population has declined by 10 percent since 2000, and school enrollment is down by 36 percent in the same time frame. Despite significant new construction that increased housing units by 17 percent since 2000, census data shows the increase in vacant second homes has outpaced the added housing units.
“A vacancy tax incentivizes second homeowners to rent their properties to locals while generating millions in tax revenue that can be used to build new workforce housing. While only one component of affordable housing policy efforts, a vacancy tax would have a huge impact in solving the housing crisis in South Lake Tahoe.”
– Amelia Richmond, president of Locals for Affordable Housing
South Lake Tahoe advocates seek to model the vacancy tax on Berkeley’s successful Measure M, which requires owners of vacant houses to pay $3,000 for the first year and $6,000 every year thereafter. The policy has the potential to generate up to $44 million each year for affordable housing development (more than 10x what is currently available), or add up to 7,300 new housing units to the local market.
More information or registration for the free event and film screening can be found at: www.eventbrite.com/e/697273833807.