This just might be the definition of beating a dead horse.
After numerous banner stories about lavish spending at the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the use of taxpayer purchased airline gift cards for personal travel and the golden parachute for retiring CEO Rossi Ralenkottter, the morning newspaper manages to lob one more dart in the form of a banner story.
This piece quotes Ralenkotter as saying at a board meeting this past week about the hotel room tax that funds the operation, “It’s not a tax that’s on the people who live here, and we need to continue that messaging.”
The next paragraph begs to differ, noting that, while the vast majority of the hotel room tax is paid by tourists, state residents pay “tens of millions of dollars” in room taxes. The story then goes on to regale with accounts of poor people living in hotels, people from other counties coming to Clark County for business or pleasure and locals on so-called staycations. The story reports that a government survey of the homeless found about 2 percent typically stay at a hotel or motel at night, which costs an extra 13 to 14 percent due to the room tax.
The headline on an emailed alert about this story sent out Monday evening really rubbed it in: “Clark County room tax hauls in millions from poor Nevadans.”
Not until the last leg of the jump is it reported that the LVCVA itself estimates that 5 percent of the room tax is paid by state residents — or $36.9 million out of $738 million.
One last dig at the departing Ralenkotter? We doubt it.
This account did not end with the obligatory italicized disclaimer stating that the paper is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson and that company operates a convention center that competes with the LVCVA. An oversight surely.