Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ketchum won’t give up on air tax

Sun Valley to decide in January whether to keep LOT


By BRENNAN REGO
Express Staff Writer

The Ketchum City Council accepted the results of the Nov. 6 election during a City Council meeting Monday, Nov. 19, including the failure of a proposed local-option tax levy to pay minimum revenue guarantees for commercial air service.

However, Ketchum Mayor Randy Hall said he considers the narrowness of the margin with which the levy was defeated a “mandate” for the city to continue to pursue the air tax.

The cities of Sun Valley, Ketchum and Hailey had a measure on their ballots on Election Day to add a 1 percent local-option tax to pay minimum revenue guarantees to airlines that might otherwise be unwilling to fly into a risky resort market such as Sun Valley.

“While I’m disappointed the LOT for air didn’t pass, I’m happy it got 58 percent,” Hall said.

The proposed tax required 60 percent approval to pass. Hailey voters denied the measure by an even more narrow margin than those in Ketchum, with 59 percent of its voters in approval.

Only Sun Valley voters approved the levy, with 61 percent voting in favor. The Sun Valley City Council members agreed Monday to wait until January to discuss whether to repeal the ordinance or wait for Ketchum to take another shot at getting the tax passed.

“The fact that all three cities could almost have had a super majority is amazing,” Hall said at the Nov. 19 Ketchum meeting. “We’re going to redouble our efforts to move this ball forward.”

State code requires the city to wait for one year before reintroducing the measure.


Brennan Rego: brego@mtexpress.com

 




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