Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Sun Valley collects added LOT money

Express Staff Writer

The city of Sun Valley City added $450,000 to its 2004-2005 budget appropriation last week as the result of additional local-option tax receipts.

The added receipts will bring the city's LOT revenue for the fiscal year, which began in October 2004, to about $1,176,000. The 3 percent tax is paid on retail items, liquor by the drink and lodging.

The recently added appropriations are the result of unexpectedly good summer tourism business and from memberships paid to the Elkhorn Golf Club.

The money will be added to the city's Land Acquisition Fund.

City Administrator Virginia Eggers said that the golf club owes LOT receipts dating from the time it began selling memberships in 2003. The golf club reopened on July 16 after having been closed for renovations since fall of 2003.

Eggers said state law does not allow the city to publicly state the portion of the additional LOT receipts attributed to the club. In any case, she said, the amount appropriated is only an estimate. The city has asked the club to provide it with an exact total.

City ordinance requires businesses to submit LOT receipts monthly. The club will be charged interest for its late payments at a fluctuating rate set by Idaho law.

The club did not return a call by the Idaho Mountain Express seeking an explanation for its delay in submitting payments. However, City Attorney Rand Peebles said in an interview that the club's managers had told him they were unaware that membership fees were included in taxable items. However, he said the club does not now dispute that it owes the money.

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