On Resort Tax: Everything on ‘better idea’ is wrong

Friday, November 27, 2020


I appreciate The Enterprise covering important events in Gardiner. The story in Monday’s paper on the ongoing vote to increase the Resort Tax is a case in point. While readers are contemplating their vote they are also probably trying to reconcile the case for increasing the tax with the post card they got in their mail box suggesting they should vote no because there was a better idea.

Unfortunately everything about that “better idea” is wrong. First, we actually checked the math and found out that expanding the tax season simply doesn’t raise enough money to get the overhaul of the waste treatment plant done. Second, it is worse than that because the revenue gained by extending the tax season isn’t dedicated to the project and nearly half of it would be allocated elsewhere according to the original resolution. Third, the scheme suggested would constitute a permanent extension of the tax season to be year around rather than ending once the project is completed. What the resolution being voted on is asking for is a temporary tax increase during the existing season which will end when the project is paid for and dedicates the revenue from the added 1% to the project.

It is also interesting that the sponsors of the post card failed to identify themselves. Whether this was because they didn’t want you to know or just an oversight on their part doesn’t matter — either way it is a violation of Montana election law.

Richard Parks
Chairman Gardiner Resort Area District