MCTA discusses Chamber's lodging tax proposal

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Moffat County Commissioner Tom Gray tried to alleviate concerns of the Moffat County Tourism Association on Wednesday that the commission would decide quickly on a proposal from the Craig Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber’s proposal — to oversee the county’s 1.9-percent lodging tax rather than MCTA.

“I know that somehow that understanding got out there that we were going to act really quick,” Gray told MCTA board members. “That’s not ever been my intention.”

The board met Wednesday to discuss the Chamber’s proposal on the lodging tax. The Chamber presented the idea to the county commission Tuesday; there was no official action taken, only agreement to host a future work session on the issue.

Gray and fellow commissioner Tom Mathers told MCTA board members there would be no action on the proposal at next week’s commission meeting.

MCTA would like to participate in the discussion regarding the lodging tax proposal.

“I think we’d like to know that we have a voice at the table and that voice is heard,” MCTA Executive Director Marilynn Hill said. “I believe that the commissioners are fair-minded, that you will listen, and you will invite comments, as you should, from us. That’s a fair discussion. We just don’t want to be blindsided again.”

Gray told Hill the commission would be fair-minded throughout the process, but that MCTA would also have to keep an open mind once the Chamber comes up with specifics on its proposal.

Another issue brought up was the relationship between MCTA, the Chamber, and the Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership.

“The thing is, I think, we need to figure out how to work with each organization instead of the organization feeling as if one of those legs of that stool doesn’t have anything to say in the conversation,” Hill said. “One of the things that was most concerning to this group, from the conversations that I’ve had with the board members, is that there was nothing that was said to any of us (about the proposal).”

During Wednesday’s EDP meeting, executive director Darcy Owens-Trask said some EDP board members had a similar idea in the past to have control of the lodging tax. The idea never moved forward.

EDP decided at Wednesday’s meeting to stay neutral on the Chamber’s proposal.

Both Hill and Chamber Director Christina Oxley were present at that meeting.

Hill told EDP the line of communication was open if they had questions about MCTA’s operation.

“My only concern is, that if individuals feel that we’re not doing what we’re supposed to be doing, to have that open dialogue to understand what you don’t think we’re doing well, or what you think we can improve on instead of just jumping in and saying, ‘We don’t think you’re doing this right,’” she said.

Scott Schlaufman can be reached at 875-1792 or sschlaufman@craigdailypress.com.

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