The American Car Rental Association strongly opposes any attempt to increase the car rental tax in Washoe County. Increasing the car rental tax an additional 2% would be kicking our customers while they are already down. Under the proposal, a $30/day car rental at the Reno airport would result in $12.58 in taxes and fees – more than 41% of the daily rate! This would solidify Reno as one of the highest taxed locations in the country for car rental.
We support the position of the Reno Airport Authority that recently stated, “..a step to further increase the tax burden on rental car customers is not as pain-free a solution as often represented.” As these taxes accumulate and rental car costs rise, the auto and travel industries are increasingly being harmed. Discriminatory taxes make it costlier to travel, suppressing demand for rental cars, hotels, resorts, airlines and other therefore, suppresses ancillary spending by those visiting our area. It’s simple economics.
Additionally, our industry opposed the original car rental tax for the stadium because there is absolutely no correlation between renting a car and attending an Aces game. Therefore, our customers receive no disproportionate benefit from paying the tax. So, the tax clearly fails the “fairness” test. Raising the tax only serves to exacerbate this patent unfairness. Furthermore, why should car rental customers continue to subsidize the debt of another private industry? Once again the airport asked a very appropriate question, “While a tax increase may address the immediate City financial issue associated with the Aces Ballpark development, the question is should it be solved by rental car customers.”