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FEBRUARY 1ST, 2024 AT 9:00 AM



Council in attendance: Carl Sundstrom, Jason White, John Laigaie, Scott Lyons, Gary Fujinami, and Lorraine Dell-Bishop. Council absent: Mayor Daniel Reddish. Others in attendance: Clerk Rachel Parret, Special Projects Maureen Connor, Elena Gagliano, Anne Fillmore, Cathy Smith, and Amelia Wood.

CALL TO ORDER: Councilman Lyons called the meeting to order at 9:00 am.

Public Comment will be limited as to the Resort Tax meeting as this is a working meeting.  If the Public has comment on other items, please come to the 1st or 3rd Tuesday of the Month and comment during the public comment session.



Resort tax imposed on retail value of goods and services sold, except for goods and services for resale, within the city by the following establishments:

  1. Hotels, motels, and other lodging or camping facilities.

  2. Restaurants, fast food stores and other food service establishments.

  3. Taverns, bars, nightclubs, lounges and other public establishments that serve beer, wine, liquor or other alcoholic beverages by the drink.

  4. Destination ski resorts.

  5. Establishments that sell luxuries shall collect a tax on such luxuries.

Councilman Sundstrom stated the first three would apply to the Town as we are not classified as an area but a community for the Resort Tax.

Rate of Tax:

  1. The rate of tax is three percent.

  2. The duration of resort tax is twenty years.

Duty to Collect:

  1. The operator of any establishment mentioned to collect, upon sale, the tax herein imposed.

Councilman Lyons it is the operator or owners’ responsibility to collect and remit Resort Tax.

Luxuries Tax:

  1. Attractions – Bowling Alleys, Concerts, Golf Courses, Theaters, Rodeos

  2. Rentals – Automobiles, trucks, trailers, RV’s, jeeps, conference, convention, or event room or space rentals, golf, ski, sports equipment, motorcycles, bicycles, ATV’s, snowmobiles, boats, jet skis

  3. Retail sales of goods (excluding sales for resale) – new and used books of local interest, cameras and supplies, candles, clothing items limited to logo wear, finished craft items (including those sold at arts and crafts fairs), jewelry and art including decorative dishes (not for meals), souvenirs.

  4. Mail order and catalog sales.

Councilman Lyons said according to Mr. Overstreet (Town attorney) online sales can probably be taxed. Councilman Fujinami asked Cathy Smith if her online sales are retail or wholesale.  Cathy replied that they are retail and are ordered directly from the company making the swag.

  1. Sporting goods except when sold at garage sales.

  2. Supermarket goods that are nonfood items

  3. Tobacco and tobacco products


  1. Guides and outfitters

  2. Recreational Services and labor

  3. Restaurants, fast food, other food services establishments

  4. Taverns, bars, nightclubs, lounges, other public establishments that serve beer, wine, liquor and other alcoholic beverages by the drink.



Rate of Tax:

  1. The exact rate of the Resort Tax is 3%

  2. The duration of the Resort Tax is 25 years.

  3. The exact rate of Infrastructure Tax is 1%

Duty of Collection:

  1. The duty of each owner of a business upon sale, the tax here in imposed.

Resort Tax:

  1. Destination Ski Resort and other destination recreational facilities.

  2. Hotels, motels, and other lodging or camping facilities.

  3. Lodging for which the state bed tax is payable.


  1. Attractions – all goods and services except for unprepared food items sold by any business that does not operate more than 90 days within a calendar year, arcades. Bowling centers, concerts except for nonprofits, movie theaters

  2. Golf courses


  1. Automobiles, trucks, trailers, RV’s.

  2. Golf equipment, ski equipment, snowboard, snowshoe and other sports equipment.

  3. Motorcycles, bicycles, ATV’s, snowmobiles, boats, jet skis.

Retail Sales:

  1. New clothing items that have been either screen-printed, embroidered or otherwise imprinted with Montana.

  2. Curios, decorative boxes, decorative vases.

  3. Cut flowers and floral arrangements, both living and nonliving.

  4. Artificial trees and plants

  5. Fireworks

  6. Jewelry and art

  7. Pictures and pictures frames, posters, prints, handcrafted cards

  8. Souvenir items

Sporting Goods: Except for firearms

Nonfood items:

  1. Stickers

  2. Perfume, cologne and other luxury bath items.

  3. All Tobacco and nicotine products excluding FDA approved nicotine replacement therapy.

  4. All goods and services sold at a marijuana prescribed by a physician.

  5. New toys (including puzzles, cards, and board games)

Food Items:

  1. All Deli and bakery items except for loaves of bread, sliced meats and cheeses.

  2. Foodstuff intended for immediate consumption.

  3. Single sized beverages less than two liters (except milk)

  4. Gum and candy, including individual, bulk and packaged quantities.

Recreational Services including Tours, Guides and Outfitters.

Restaurants, fast food restaurants and other food service establishments.

Non-Profit Organizations

  1. Organizations when selling food and beverages or renting their facilities to the public and/or nonmembers.

Taverns, bars, nightclubs, lounges and other public establishments serving beer, wine, liquor or other alcoholic beverages:

  1. All alcoholic beverages, including beer and wine, are sold by the drink or at retail.

  2. All goods and services sold.

Liquor stores, all retail items sold.

Retail stores, all alcoholic beverages, including beer and wine, sold by the drink or at retail.

Councilman Sundstrom said that Columbia Falls Resort Tax is an over kill compared to Red Lodge and he preferred Red Lodges’.

Councilman Laigaie said Red Lodges’ is much easier to read and understand.

Councilman Lyons would like to items limited to the what the MCA states should be taxed.

Public Comment:

Special Projects Maureen Connor stated that she had a correction to make.  The difference between area and communities. Area is a county not incorporated and an area has an advisory board to report to the County Commissioners.  Communities do not have an advisory board.  The board is the Town Council. The elected officials have the fiduciary responsibility.

Elena Gagliano asked if there was a difference between an advisory board and a tax board.

Councilman Lyons stated that the Council is not required by law to have either, but one could be appointed.  The board has zero authority and can only advise.  The tax board may have authority if the Council were to relinquish authority.

Elena Gagliano asked if a business has questions, would they come to the Council.

Councilwoman Dell-Bishop stated that the business would have to submit a written statement to the Mayor and request to be seen by the Council.

Maureen Connor stated that the appeal process will be in the ordinance.

Elena Gagliano asked if the Resort Tax will be presented to the Council in a Resolution.

Councilman Lyons stated that the Resolution will be done soon.

Elena Gagliano asked if there would be public hearings?

The Council stated that there will be two public hearings by law.  Public hearings will be posted in the newspaper.

Next Meeting:

February 5, 2024, at 9:00 am at the Town Hall.


Councilman Sundstrom made a motion to adjourn, Councilwomen Dell-Bishop seconded the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.

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