BID meeting on tax plan

urdiAt year’s end, numbers of officers in the Mammoth Lakes Police Department continued to drop and concerns grow over public safety. So far, citizens have not demanded any new tax measures to cover cuts voted on by the Mammoth Town Council, but business owners have seriously focused on taxing themselves to pay for more marketing and air service. It’s called a Business Improvement District.

Mammoth Lakes Tourism Director John Urdi said that the exploratory committee on this subject planned to meet January 8th to confer with an attorney on which retail stores could become a part of the improvement district and how much they should be taxed. At year’s end, the proposed BID plan included a 1% tax on gross income for lodging; 1.5% on retail and restaurant income and 2% on lift tickets and ski school. All the new taxes would raise close to $4 million.

None of it would go to the Town to offset service cuts. Town government would receive a fee for administering the tax. The breakdown of the $4 million raised would go like this – $2 million on marketing, $1.1 million on air service marketing, and $175,000 each on public relations, special events and administrative costs.

The hang-up, so far, has been retail. A number of store owners believe a 1.5% tax is too high. They also think Vons, Rite-Aid and the Do-It Center should be included in the taxing district. The proposal does not include those big name stores.

Tourism Director Urdi said that the exploratory committee members did not want to impact local residents. Retailers say if the big stores are included, everyone could likely pay a lower tax. If a majority of business owners approve of the proposed BID plan, it would go to public meetings and to the Town Council.

5 Responses to BID meeting on tax plan

  1. Trouble January 7, 2013 at 7:07 am #

    The good news is the economy is turning around and Mammoth is on pace to have a really good year. Thanks to mother nature. I bet June Mountain would have made money this year.

    • Mark January 7, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

      The economy is turning around? The next two months will tell that truth. What you recently experienced was nothing more then good snow conditions over a holiday period, that hardly means the economy is turning around.

      I do hope you are right though 🙂

  2. J.J. January 5, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

    How is taxing the consumers to pay for airline subsidies, business, marketing and administrative costs by raising additional sales taxes, equate to “Business owners have seriously focused on taxing themselves”?

    Do you think the corporate lawyers of Vons, Rite-Aid and the Do-It Center will have dissenting opinions than the attorney to be consulted?

    Is this another legal fiasco in the making?

    Will the next “TAX” attempt be a parcel tax claiming to off set the councils cuts to the police department?

    Why would we need additional marketing and subsidy dollars after the best summer ever?

    Are you willing to pay anymore taxes for any reasons stated in this article with or without a vote?

    Do you ever question the real motives and actions of those already living at a much higher standard of living than the average Mammoth taxpayer/visitor?

    Are you buying into this marketing ploy to increase public taxes for private profits?

    Do you vote with your dollars too?

    • Ken Warner January 5, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

      Watch out. The “Disgusting” God is watching you….

      And in April, 2008 after the first judgement against the town I wrote in a letter to the Sheet:

      $30,000,000 — phifft! NOTHING!

      In the first place, the Bush administration has put the economic machinery in place to devalue the dollar faster than a snowball in Hell. So if you can delay payment for a couple of years, thirty million bucks is going to be worth 15-18 million tops.

      And we have some deep pocket steak holders in town to look after such problem. After all the town did all the work they did on the airport for Intrawest (now a wholly owned subsidiary of Fortress Investment) and Starwood Capital so that they could bring in fractional customers for their fractional ownership, condo hotels. Surely they won’t just leave the town in a lurch over a such a small amount of money. I mean together Fortress Investment and Starwood Capital are worth over 50 billion dollars. 30 million is chump change for them. They spend more than that on country club memberships. They’ll take good care of us. They have all the selfless altruism and concern for the well being of this town that you could expect from billion dollar, multi-national corporations.

      And the town has options like raising the ToT to 15%; raising the DIF to more than what it was before they lowered it; and we could always raise the sales tax to a flat 10% and let our visitors pay for the judgement. Seems like reasonable options to me.


      But I was just joking. I didn’t think anybody would take me serious.

  3. Steve H. January 5, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    Wow. My taxes are already going up a minimum of 2% this year, why would i want to pay more to eat out, buy things? This tax is a bad idea. Do these people not understand that people will have less money to spend this year, and further reducing that amount due to shopping in Mammoth does not bode well for the local resident?


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