MARBLETON – Whether or not citizens want a 3-percent lodging tax in town will be put to them for a vote during Marbleton’s municipal elections on Tuesday, May 9.
The Marbleton Town Council first broached adding a tax to overnight visitors’ bills, as is done in Pinedale, at its Feb. 13 meeting. Consultant Sam Bixler said the council needed to pass a resolution soon so county clerk Mary Lankford can advertise and put it on the ballot.
The lodging tax would apply to all Marbleton lodging for guests staying less than 30 days – including hotels, motels, tourist courts, RV and trailer parks, dude ranches, B&Bs, condos and campgrounds. It would be sent with other sales taxes to the state with most returned to promote and advertise local tourism.
The first year of a lodging tax, the state collects a 2-percent administrative fee. The second year and beyond, the state fee drops to 1 percent, and the town must spend at least 90 percent on travel and tourism promotion.
“Does it go directly to the town?” asked councilman Mack Bradley.
Bixler said the town’s share would come back to Marbleton for a separate committee or board to administer.
The council selected the 3-percent option after estimating they might get back about $2,000.
“If the public knew the money was coming back to us, it stands a better chance,” Bradley said.
He made a motion for the resolution to put a 3-percent lodging tax on the May 9 ballot; councilman Roger McMannis seconded it. The vote carried, 4-1, with mayor Jim Robinson voting against it.
“I understand it’s coming back to us and the board but I think people are taxed enough,” Robinson said. “But that’s just my opinion.”
In other Marbleton news:
• The council, Bixler and The Grill owners Candace and Brandon Kennedy discussed plans taking shape for a Sublette Rockhounds Club show, bands and a pancake breakfast at the fairgrounds around the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse. The council voted to spend not more than $500 to help businesses and groups provide special souvenir eclipse viewing glasses as a moneymaker.
• Sublette County Emergency Management has put empty sandbags and loose sand on the east side of Marbleton Town Hall for residents to use in case of flooding. They are asked to sign out how many bags they fill. n