A proposal to bring a Local Option Tax to voters, Mad River Valley-Funding Local Opportunities (MRV-FLO), is being presented to the boards of the Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Mad River Valley Planning District steering committee as The Valley Reporter goes to press on November 7.
The proposal, presented by a subcommittee of the Mad River Valley Planning District, will come before voters at Town Meeting next March. The Local Option Tax (LOT) proposal would levy a 1 percent tax on rooms, meals, alcohol and sales in The Valley and yield about $1 million of which $700,000 would return to The Valley to help fund community projects, destination marketing, recreation and economic development.
Providing this funding for recreation and the Mad River Valley Recreation District would mean local towns do not make their annual $15,000 contribution to the rec district.
To adopt an LOT, the three towns would need to vote affirmatively to adopt and change the charter of the Mad River Valley Planning District and ask the state Legislature to approve the tax.
Of the $1 million collected, 12 percent would be paid by local residents, amounting to about $2 per month. The balance of the tax would be paid by visitors, second-home owners and skiers.
The MRV-FLO committee will include one elected and one appointed member from each member town, plus one member of the Mad River Valley Planning District steering committee will be appointed as chair.
MRV-FLO committee members will solicit applications in the spring and issue grants in July.
After this week’s presentation to the boards of the chamber and planning district, the proposal will be presented to the select boards of Warren, Waitsfield and Fayston on November 13 at the Waitsfield town office at 7 p.m.
It will be presented again at the tri-town leadership meeting on November 29 at Waitsfield Elementary School at 6 p.m.