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April 20, 2014

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Las Vegas room tax revenue expected to grow in 2013

Image

Sam Morris

Tourists walk along the Las Vegas Strip in this April 28, 2011, file photo.

Visitor volume to Las Vegas is expected to grow again in 2013, marking the third straight year of increases.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority anticipates collecting 5 percent more in room tax revenue in 2013 than this year. Thursday, board members adopted a budget that includes the additional funds.

“The increase is at a more moderate level than we’ve seen, but it’s still growth,” LVCVA Vice President of Finance Rana Lacer said.

Room tax collections rose by 14 percent each year in 2011 and 2012 after a spectacular collapse in 2009 and 2010.

If the upward trend continues, even by smaller margins, Las Vegas should see revenue equal to peak 2008 levels in a handful of years.

Revenue generated from room tax helps further the LVCVA’s mission of bringing more tourists to Las Vegas and helps local residents. The authority pumps millions into schools, transportation projects and municipalities.

“I don’t think enough people recognize and understand the distribution of the tax,” Las Vegas City Councilman Steve Ross said during a public hearing on the LVCVA budget. “People don’t understand how important room tax is and what it does for our economy.”

If projections hold true, municipalities will receive $52 million from room tax next year, Clark County will receive $44 million for transportation projects and the Clark County School District will get $71.5 million for capital projects.

Another $21 million will go to the state Department of Transportation, and $131 million will go to the state for education and other programs.

The LVCVA retains 32 percent of the room tax, the bulk of which pays for marketing and advertising. Expenditures are expected to rise 2 percent next year.

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