Silt lodging tax in the hands of voters |

Silt lodging tax in the hands of voters

Heidi RiceRifle Correspondent

Voters in the town of Silt will see an occupational tax question on their ballots after all.With just hours before the deadline to submit ballot questions to the Garfield County clerk and recorder, Silt town trustees voted to put an amended version of the question on the ballot.In an emergency meeting last week, the board voted 4-1 in favor of the tax question. The deadline to submit ballot questions for the Nov. 2 election was at 5 p.m. on Sept. 8.Trustee Dave Moore, who initiated the question, was the dissenter.”I wanted to have a bigger bill,” Moore said. “And I wanted the money to go into an enhancement fund.”Moore originally proposed an occupational tax bill that would charge a $5-per-night lodging tax that would go into a fund used to beautify the downtown area. The tax would be paid only by those staying at the town’s sole motel – the Red River Inn at 1200 Main St.The board instead approved an amended tax question that would charge a $2.50 flat fee, with the money to go into the town’s general fund earmarked for public improvements..Nevertheless, Moore said he is still happy that some version of the tax question will be on the ballot.”I still think we won,” he said. “But I wanted more out of it. This will be paid for by tourists. It will not cost the people of the town one red cent.”The board had previously voted against an occupational tax because they felt the language in the bill was confusing and they did not have enough time to research it.If approved by voters, the tax is expected to generate about $20,000 to $30,000 per year.”This could be the beginning of a series of positive events for the beautification of Silt,” Moore said. “It’s long overdue.”