Star Valley Council Narrowly Rejects Sales Tax Ordinance

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When Star Valley officials created the town tax code, they exempted a sales tax for the rental and lease of residential lodging on commercial property.

In an effort to change the code and raise funds for the establishment of town law enforcement services in the future, two measures were brought before the council in a special meeting Tuesday night, which would accomplish both tasks. The council, however, defeated the ordinance that would have removed a sales tax exemption from residential rental property by a slim 4-3 vote.

Vice-mayor Randy White and councilors Bill Rappaport, Mary Ann Kotelnicki and Art Lloyd voted against the measure.

The sales tax would have primarily affected mobile home residents in Star Valley, who before and after the vote, do not pay a sales tax on their residence.

The ordinance would have enacted a 1 percent sales tax on rental property holders, which would have gone into effect Aug. 1 and lasted for a year and a 2 percent sales tax the year thereafter. The tax would have raised annual revenue of around $25,000 for the town.

At the same meeting, the council unanimously approved the establishment of a special law enforcement fund.

Town Manager Vito Tedeschi said the ordinance, with some modifications, will be brought before the council at the next regular meeting, June 5.

A new version of the ordinance will provide mobile home park owners more time to implement the changes and would not go into effect until Jan. 1.

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