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Wednesday, May 12, 2004

News

Ketchum considering new tax on food sales


As part of ongoing discussions about ways to increase city revenues, Ketchum city officials are studying whether the city should seek to levy a local option tax on food sales.

During a broad discussion Monday, May 10 about city goals, City Council President Randy Hall said he believes the city should study whether a percentage tax on food sales could be a viable method to bolster the city budget.

"Its a vehicle out there that were not using right now," he said.

Hall said the tax, which would need to undergo public review before being assessed, could be used to raise funds for specific city projects or capital improvements.

Mayor Ed Simon asked City Attorney Ben Worst to study how much money a food tax could raise for the city.

Since 1978, the city has levied a 1 percent sales tax on non-food retail items, as well as a 2 percent tax on hotel rooms and by-the-drink liquor sales. The city also charges a 1 percent local option tax on the sales of building materials.

"I suspect there is a reason (a food tax) was not included in the first place," Simon said.


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