“Basically, that takes all the money we have to work with for special events,” said Sparks City Councilman and tourism and marketing committee chair Ron Schmitt.
For the past three years, the city’s tourism and marketing committee has received allocations of $350,000 from the RSCVA. However, in 2003, the Nevada Legislature passed an amendment that capped the amount the committee could get from the RSCVA at $200,000 per year.
“The Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA) recently determined that it had paid the City of Sparks a combined excess of $436,000 in tax collections over the last three years,” RSCVA President and CEO Ellen Oppenheim said in a statement. “This is an unfortunate finding given the challenging economic landscape facing the travel and tourism industry today. The RSCVA will work with the City of Sparks to identify a fair and equitable schedule to repay the funds.”
As of Monday the city had no official response, city spokesman Adam Mayberry said.
The city of Sparks pays $180,000 for special events every year, according to parks and recreation department officials. That money comes from the city’s redevelopment agency fund.
Of the 15 special events that will come to Sparks this year, the city makes money from two: the Sparks Hometowne Farmer’s Market and the Arts in Bloom Festival.