County commission, MCTA discuss lodging tax proposal
March 16, 2011
Speaking to the Moffat County Commission at a workshop Tuesday, Moffat County Tourism Association board member Tammie Thompson-Booker talked about MCTA's contributions to the community.
The balloon festival, Grand Old West Days and Whittle the Wood were all among events she noted the association has contributed money toward.
"While we may not have tooted our horn well enough in the public, some of that is our doing," Thompson-Booker said. "We've done a lot of things that I think this community has forgotten about, and while it has not always been the most effectual group of people, we're not completely dysfunctional."
The purpose of the workshop was to discuss a recent proposal by the Craig Chamber of Commerce seeking to oversee the county's 1.9-percent lodging tax rather than MCTA.
At the meeting, commissioner Audrey Danner said the commissioners would respond to the proposal, along with one submitted by Melody Villard to boost the Moffat County Visitor Center's role in tourism promotion, at the commission's regular meeting March 29.
The Chamber had two members, Clay Russell and Jeff Smith, present at the meeting.The Chamber will not have a workshop before the commission's decision, executive director Christina Oxley said.
MCTA board members stressed an interest in moving ahead with current projects, primarily an in-depth marketing survey that will start later this week.
"We just need to get the support of the board of county commissioners to let us go through the process," Thompson-Booker said, noting the success that Hill Aevium, the company that is handling the survey, had in helping the City of Grand Junction.
"We need to stop all the chatter outside and our group needs to just march," Thompson-Booker said.
"Forget what everyone else is doing and when they come to the BOCC, we ask humbly that you tell them 'MCTA is marching forward, you need to contact (MCTA director) Marilynn (Hill.)'"
MCTA board member Kerry Moe told the commission multiple times during the meeting that the language of state statues left the funds, and any decision regarding the distribution of them, strictly in MCTA's hands.
It was a point of view echoed by other MCTA members, including Bryce Jacobson, who is also publisher of the Craig Daily Press.
When Danner mentioned a date for response to the proposals, Moe mentioned the legality.
"It states that because you've appointed us as a panel, that decision is no longer in your court," Moe said.
Danner said despite those questions, the commission would still issue a response.
"I understand that, and out of courtesy, no matter if it's correct or not, if someone comes before us with a proposal, we can respond," she said. "Out of courtesy, we don't say, 'Oops, that shouldn't have come to us,' and leave it on the desk.”
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