Craig City Council voices concerns on lodging tax measure

In other action, the Craig City Council

• Approved, 6-0, a request from the Craig Police Department for six computers from Dell totaling $6,302.08.

• Tabled the renewal of the 3.2-percent retail beer license for Loaf ‘N Jug at 2441 W. Victory Way because no representative from the store was present.

• Councilman Byron Willems was absent from the meeting.

The Craig City Council weighed in on a proposed lodging tax ballot question Tuesday during a workshop before its regular meeting.

Discussion from the workshop, which included several members of the lodging tax committee tasked with developing the ballot question for the council’s approval, fostered council concerns about the language of the proposed ballot measure.

The lodging tax committee finalized the ballot question for city council approval at its May 19 meeting.

The city council, however, decided to table approval of the ballot question during its meeting until council member concerns were addressed.

The proposed ballot question states the city will collect a 6.9-percent lodging tax and allocate it into four categories.

Three percent of the 6.9-percent will go to tourism marketing, and another 3 percent will fund capitol improvements.

The remaining .9 percent will be split between economic development, which will receive .6 percent, and community beautification, which will receive .3 percent.

Among the top concerns the city council had included language contained in the first line of the proposed ballot question.

As it was proposed Tuesday, the question reads “Shall the city of Craig taxes be increased $550,000 annually…”

Craig Mayor Don Jones brought up the issue and said the word “taxes” may affect the votes of some residents.

“If I was a voter and I saw that … I would go right to the bottom of the page and check ‘no,’” he said during the workshop.

Jones said he feels the word “revenues” would be a better word to use to favor votes.

Terry Carwile said the ballot measure was drafted to meet requirements outlined by the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, also known as TABOR.

“I wanted us to have a … ballot question that made no reference like that in the opening at all,” Carwile said.

The council agreed to investigate the matter further with city attorney Kenny Wohl.

“I think if you can soften the language in any way, this is not a slam dunk … you have got to get it passed, or it’s all a moot point,” said Darcy Trask, Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership director.

The proposed .3 percent allocation of funding for community beautification and how that money would be spent was also discussed.

Council member Jennifer Riley also asked Trask if she would provide the city council an outline of how EDP would use the increased revenues if the ballot measure passes in November.

Comments

George Robertson 3 years, 10 months ago

Sounds a little underhanded to me. It's a Tax plain and simple. That's like saying he's not a sports fan, he's an athletic supporter.

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DAILYREADER 3 years, 10 months ago

HOW DOES THE COUNCIL DETERMINE $550,000 WILL BE COLLECTED? SEEMS TO ME THAT SINCE THE NUMBER OF ROOMS OCCUPIED IS AN UNKNOWN FACTOR THE COUNCIL IS DAYDREAMING AGAIN.

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justthefacts 3 years, 10 months ago

Riddle me this Batman: When is a tax not a tax?

Answer: When the Craig City Council says that it is not!

Comment: IT FEELS LIKE A TAX TO ME!! The license plate fee, FEELS LIKE A TAX TO ME!! The fees on my gas, electric, and City utility bills, FEELS LIKE A TAX TO ME!!!

When the government,( Local, State, and Federal) tells you that it is a fee, it is a TAX, and that is a fact!!

This reminds me of a song. "COME ON BABY LETS DO THE TWIST" round an around and around we go, the City Council knows how to twist.

Think and wonder, wonder and think. The Facts are everywhere!!!

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Ray Cartwright 3 years, 10 months ago

So the License Plate Fee went through without a challange so now we will put in another fee (tax) and bypass the TABOR Amendment again!!! How many more fees can we afford before we have to draft another version of TABOR to combat the FEES!

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George Robertson 3 years, 10 months ago

Oh but this isn't a TAX or a FEE, it's a "revenue enhancer"

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native_craig_guy 3 years, 10 months ago

I am all for the revenue or tax or what ever they call it. The whole purpose of a lodging tax is to gain tax dollars from visitors to the city, not from the citizens living in the county. This is a great way for the city to gain extra money without raising taxes for all of us. Why shouldn't we raise money from hunters, softball teams and business visitors to the city? I too am curious about how the city will spend the "beautification" money. I do not believe that the tourism association should get 50% of all the money earned by this tax. Maybe .5% instead. I think that they money earned by this tax should stay in the community and should be used to improve the community as a whole. I mean every outfitter in the county is currently advertising for Moffat county and are bringing in lots of revenue.

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als362 3 years, 10 months ago

I agree with native craig guy, this is a good idea for Craig. The people that live here, will get this money, from other people that come here to have fun or do business. No one here will be taxed a dime, unless they stay in a hotel/motel. It is free money! To native craig guy: You can go to the meetings that are open to the public, as I did. There you can ask questions, voice your opinions and hear what is being discussed. It is a much more direct approach than writting it here, and it will do some good if you attend.

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GreyStone 3 years, 10 months ago

History shows us there is no such thing as “Free money”.

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als362 3 years, 10 months ago

To Greystone: This is one exceeption to history. This money comes from outside the community for the community to use. It is as close to winning the lottery that a city or county can get. It is Free Money!

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bigrred1576 3 years, 10 months ago

Have none of you Nay-Sayers ever been on vacation? Almost every city has a form of Logding fee/tax. Call it what you will, but it doens't come out of your pocket in Craig. Almost all stays have Added fees on top of whatever rate you were Quoted.

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craigite 3 years, 10 months ago

What you are failing to understand is that this is a tax and it is on the back of one industry. If we want these community improvements, we should put our money where our mouth is and institute a flat sales tax across the board. Most of the residents have family that come to town or use the hotels for pool parties or to get away. We will end up paying more because the businesses will have to pay more for bringing in people. Construction costs will go up and who will pay for it??? We will.

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CindyLou 3 years, 10 months ago

I would like to ask anyone who is against some of the modest tax increases to do me a favor.......go look at communities like Meeker, Rifle, or Glennwood Springs. While our infrastructure is crumbling and dying theirs is new and alive. We have extremely low taxes in NW Colorado and we don't have jack to show for it. It took both hands and a flashlight for most of you idiots to find your hind end and vote to improve education and healthcare in this county (finally after how many years?). You sit and whine about how bad things are and but don't want to contribute any real solutions to the problem. EVERYONE else has a lodging tax so people from outside of our community can benefit from our infrastructure why shouldn't we? A hunter comes in and buys a bag of groceries from City Market....big deal! He drove out here from Texas and had to pay a lodging tax in KC, Denver, and Steamboat when he spent the night in those towns....Why not here too?

So your aunt or uncle has to pay a couple (what maybe six bucks?) to stay in a hotel....if its really that bad maybe they should stay on your couch when they come to visit and take the $80 bucks and take the family out for dinner.

Plain and simple.......it brings in money from outside the county and helps us here.......if we use the logic that some of you have posted here then as Moffat County citizens none of us will ever go on vacations or travel to other city/states because the lodging tax other places charge will prevent us from going so we will all just stay home and spend our money here......

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George Robertson 3 years, 10 months ago

A tax is a tax is a tax! Your claim is that it is free money from outsiders. Then you go on vacation or a business trip and pay a "lodging fee" in the towns you stay in. They are delighted that they also are receiving free money from outsiders.

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als362 3 years, 10 months ago

To craigite; Do you think that the hotel/motel business is the only industry that has been picked out for special tax fees? If you do, you are blind. Think about the beer, liquor, tobacco, gasoline, tires, and I am sure there are others I just can't think of them now. Special taxes or fees to sell your product or service happens everyday, everywhere.
This tax has nothing to do with construction. If you choose to build, that is your choice.
I can tell you now, after working shut downs and outages at the power plant for 30 years. No one that does this work is going to drive to Steamboat each day after working 12 to 16 hours a day, 6 to 7 days a week. A person is just too tired. I can assure you that after several days like that, I could not drive to Steamboat without falling asleep. I further think your idea of a sales tax is just silly. The idea of this tax, is to get other people to give us this money, not take it from the people that live here. That is why it is called, and is free money. Because we get the benefit, and other people do the paying.

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