Board members Buz Davis and Sarah Blechta consult their calendars to plan for the next meeting.  PHOTO BY JANA BOUNDS

Snow and taxes

Resort Tax has first reading of amended taxability ordinance

As Big Sky greeted the first major snowstorm of the season on Oct. 9, Big Sky Resort Area District (Resort Tax) held its regular meeting at the Big Sky Water and Sewer building. The board ran through the first reading of the newly amended Ordinance 98-01 or the taxability ordinance. 

The board established the second reading of the ordinance would take place at 9 a.m. on Nov. 25. Bierschwale explained that a 14-day window had to be present from the first to the second reading. 

“We are asking all businesses to comply with the new ordinance as of the effective date?” board chair Kevin Germain asked Bierschwale. Bierschwale said yes. 

 Germain wanted to find a date that would be best for area businesses in seeking to make the transition as fair and easy as possible. 

“In terms of the impact of their financials and their fiscal year, there is no impact,” vice chair Steve Johnson said, noting that the ordinance really just tightens things up for businesses from an administrative perspective. 

Bierschwale asked Conoco owner Renae Schumacher, who was in attendance, when it would be best to have the effective date, to ease the transition. 

“For me personally, the beginning of the month,” she replied, but she and Bierschwale agreed that the Nov. 25 date would be best for seasonal businesses. 

“Many thanks to everyone for moving the ordinance forward,” Bierschwale said. “I think we have an ordinance that we are all really excited about.” 

It is a move that will create clarity and collaboration, he said. 

Davis motioned to pass the ordinance as first reading. Blechta seconded. Germain opened it up for public comment. 

“I will ask, I don’t take EBT cards, so I don’t know the Snap definitions for foods,” Schumacher said. 

Bierschwale replied they are planning on rolling-out a  pretty intensive training program for area businesses. There will also be training sessions that will be recorded and available for people to watch online. 

The board passed the first reading of the amended ordinance unanimously before moving into private session.

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