Moffat County LMD needs plan by Dec. 5 to collect lodging tax money |

Moffat County LMD needs plan by Dec. 5 to collect lodging tax money

Patrick Kelly

Now that Moffat County residents have voted to form the Local Marketing District, the initial board of the new government entity has until Dec. 5 to publish an operating plan, according to Craig City Attorney Sherman Romney.

If an operating plan is not completed, the district will be unable to collect lodging tax revenue in 2016.

Romney said the initial LMD board, which consists of Moffat County Commissioners, Craig City Council and Dinosaur Town Council, is in the process of working on a plan.

"That's the first thing that's on our list," he said.

In addition to producing an operating plan for 2016, officials from the three entities are required to create a regular board, which must include, but is not limited to, two Moffat County commissioners, two Craig city councilors and one Dinosaur town councilor.

"It's something that initial board, consisting of the three entities’ boards, will have to determine," Romney said.

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At Monday morning's Moffat County Commissioner meeting, Commissioner Frank Moe is on the agenda to present his thoughts on a draft LMD operating plan.

"I am just one (of several people) that need to move this forward with the city, town and county," said Moe. "These are my opinions, which I am bringing forward to the commissioners, just knowing that the community needs to know what's next."

Moe said he was uncertain if the initial LMD board would be able to hold a community meeting on the operating plan before the Dec. 5 deadline.

"I would never say no, because I'm one of 15, but just from the commissioner side…we've got the budget we're working on through Dec. 15 and then we're dealing with holidays," he said.

The three entities — commissioners, city council and Dinosaur Town Council — have yet to convene since voters approved the LMD on Nov. 3. However, Romney said the three entities have been communicating via email and telephone.

"Everyone's working on it," he said.

Forming an LMD is a way for communities to collect funding for economic development, such as promoting tourism, supporting business recruitment, management and development and organizing public events.

The 4 percent LMD tax will be in addition to the current 1.9 percent lodging tax, which directly funds the Moffat County Tourism Association and a 7.15 percent sales tax.

But as established in Colorado law, no tax can be collected under the LMD unless an operating plan is set in place.

According to Colorado Revised Statute 29-25-110, "No district created under the provisions of this article shall levy a marketing and promotion tax, or provide services unless the local government or each member of the combination has approved an operating plan for the district. The operating plan shall specifically identify the services to be provided by the district, any marketing and promotion tax to be imposed by the district, and such additional information as required."