Effect on businesses, chamber, Mt. Crested Butte unknown
The fee for acquiring a business license in Mt. Crested Butte is set to increase in 2009, unless the Town Council decides to reduce the fee at their first meeting in January. Whether or not the additional funds will be used by the Chamber of Commerce or the town itself is yet to be decided.
The town of Mt. Crested Butte passed an ordinance in 2003 that temporarily reduced the Business Occupation and Licensing Tax (BOLT) to $100 per business per year. In 2009 the collections may return to their original amount, which is a sliding scale based on the number of employees in each business. The tax ranges from $100 to $1,500 per business per year.
The town of Crested Butte charges $100 per business, based on a temporary reduction ordinance. In both towns, $25 has traditionally been retained by the municipality, and the remainder goes to the Crested Butte / Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce.
Mt. Crested Butte town manager Joe Fitzpatrick says, “The BOLT tax was set up for support of the Chamber… It was not done for income for the town.”
Chamber of Commerce director Christi Matthews says business owners were notified of the change in a notice of renewal letter sent out recently by the town of Mt. Crested Butte.
“It hasn’t gone up—they just didn’t reduce it like they do every year,” Matthews says. “We’re still processing it on our end in terms of what that might mean.”
The town of Crested Butte passed their annual reduction resolution in November, with ordinance No. 25.
Fitzpatrick is not sure which direction the town of Mt. Crested Butte will proceed. “The town council hasn’t taken any action yet. It doesn’t mean they won’t,” Fitzpatrick says.
The Mt. Crested Butte Town Council will discuss the BOLT during their first meeting of the New Year on January 6.
Fitzpatrick says at that time the council may choose to lower the fee, and any business license applications that come in after such a resolution is set could fall under the lower amount.
There’s also a chance the town could find some use for the money. Section 11-16 of the town code states the money raised through the BOLT can be used for “marketing and promotion of the town’s principal industry, being tourism… and to promote and market activities and events beneficial to the business community.”
Fitzpatrick says that’s about the same definition the town uses to control its admissions tax revenue. Mt. Crested Butte uses admissions tax funds to support the Mountain Express Bus service, the Tourism Authority, and a number of other organizations that can use the funds to help promote the area.