Squatting voters will consider new tourism-related taxes

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The proposed taxes would allow visitors to the Garden Valley area to fund local projects.

CROUCH, Idaho – Editor’s Note: The above video originally aired on July 15, 2021.

New taxes on accommodation, restaurant meals and alcoholic beverages are proposed in a single ballot for the town of Crouch in the upcoming November 2 election.

Crouch, in the Garden Valley area of ​​Boise County, is just the last town in Idaho to claim local sales taxes under a state law that allows “any resort town” to apply a non-property tax with the approval of 60% of the city’s voters.

A single measure on the ballot in Crouch asks voters to vote for or against all of the following:

  • 3% room occupancy charge on all short-term rentals of 30 days or less, including hotels and motels, condos and vacation homes.
  • A 2% sales tax on alcoholic beverages for consumption. This includes all alcoholic beverages sold for consumption on the premises of a business such as a bar and at any event or activity in the town of Crouch.
  • A 2% sales tax on ready meals already subject to Idaho state sales tax.

If approved, the proposed taxes would go into effect on January 1, 2022 and would be billed in addition to state sales tax of 6%. They would remain in effect for ten years.

Crouch City Council discussed the proposal in July. At the time, city council member Trevor Schiefelbein told KTVB it was being considered following conversations with people looking for ways to beautify and expand services in the city, which has less than 200 residents.

“What we thought was that we are sort of a destination city, so we could easily justify finding a way to generate some income to help with this influx of tourists who use our roads and our facilities that put in sort of an additional pressure or burden on the region, ”said Schiefelbein.

The Crouch Ballot Ordinance states that the revenue from these taxes would be used for several purposes in the city, including snow removal; public safety and health; acquisition of land for city parks; expansion and improvement of the city’s water system, roads, bicycle and walking paths, and city buildings; as well as marketing, advertising and promotion of economic development.

Voters in the town of Cascade, Valley County, approved a 1% local option sales tax earlier this year in the May 18 election. Sixteen other cities in Idaho already collect local sales taxes.

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