Mammoth’s BID not without critics

Greg Simas questioned another tax.

Greg Simas questioned another tax.

Ballots were expected to go out to Mammoth Lakes businesses to vote on whether they support a new Business Improvement District with a new assessment on their revenue. The BID, as it’s called, would raise some $5 million for various kinds of marketing.

An open house on this issue was scheduled for Thursday, May 9th from 5 to 7pm at Rafter’s Restaurant. Mammoth Lakes Tourism Director John Urdi told the Town Council last week that the BID Steering Committee members will be there to answer questions. Urdi said ballots would go out to businesses. He said the proposal requires a 51% plus vote to move forward.

If the vote does come in that high, a Resolution of Intent will go to the Town Council. Urdi said he expects that to happen May 15th. If there is approval, Urdi said a mailing with an explanation will go out to businesses.

A 45 day comment period would follow. He said there would be an opportunity to comment at the June 5th Town Council meeting with his hopes of approval at the first Council meeting in July. If there is approval, collection of the BID assessment would start in August.

At last report, the assessment amounts to 1% on lodging, 1.5% on retail and restaurants and 2% on lift tickets. One long-time restaurant owner, Greg Simas of Grumpy’s, stood up to question whether this is the right time for more taxes. He said, “If it is, the whole community should vote in a sales tax increase.”

Simas said many business owners “have no idea what this is about.” He also said, “How many times can we go to the well?” Simas said customers are a precious commodity, and Mammoth keeps passing things on to them. Simas questioned, “How much can they absorb?” He also pointed out that there are over 70 cities with a Business Improvement District and none assess restaurants and retail.

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Bemused
Bemused
9 years ago

This is mostly a scheme by Rusty, et al. to shift MMSA’s airport subsidy obligation to the town/people. He himself said that there is a possibility that MMSA may drop out of the BID after their initial 2 year commitment (leaving everyone else holding the bag). The additional “sell,” is… Read more »

johnny burg
johnny burg
9 years ago
Reply to  Bemused

Bemused, once again another post with no basis or fact, Rusty can not drop out of anything “leaving the others holding the bag”, this is a 5 year TBID, all in or all out period. How is MMSA shifting air subsidy to the town/people, they are a private business and… Read more »

New Tahoe skier
New Tahoe skier
9 years ago
Reply to  johnny burg

TBID will be passed on to the customer; that’s exactly why I’m boycotting everything Mammoth. The morons will have to figure away out of their mess without my help.

Bemused
Bemused
9 years ago
Reply to  johnny burg

I don’t have time to go R & R. But if you search the archives of this very website (Benett?), you will find an article quoting Rusty saying EXACTLY what I have stated. I am also a long time insider, who’s very close to the principal players involved. I know… Read more »

Bemused
Bemused
9 years ago
Reply to  johnny burg

I don’t have time to go R & R. But if you search the archives of this very website (or it might have been the Sheet…Benett?), you will find an article quoting Rusty saying EXACTLY what I have stated. I am also a long time local insider, who’s very close… Read more »

Bemused
Bemused
9 years ago
Reply to  Bemused

Here’s an article quoting Rusty on the subject: http://thesheetnews.com/archives/16227 Examine this statement: “The Sheet asked Gregory if the Mountain would continue to fund the winter air subsidy out of its own marketing dollars or would he expect the BID to take care of that responsibility. Gregory said it should be… Read more »

Curious
Curious
9 years ago
Reply to  Bemused

Fool me once! September 8, 2012 at 4:41 pm # We all know the real deal, all settlement cost will be passed on to the taxpayer in the form of cuts to services and additional fees/taxes. Many will be forced to absorb a reduction in employment, pay, benefits, goods and… Read more »

Tax or not a tax
Tax or not a tax
9 years ago
Reply to  Bemused

This whole TBID is a frikin scam on the people. It is not a sales tax so it is not applied after the marked price. Any sane business owner will pass the cost onto the purchaser. Prices will go up. The cost of lift tickets will go up. A TBID… Read more »

business as usual
business as usual
9 years ago

“Business Improvement District”
(aka develop, develop, develop …)

And miracle of miracles!
The acting mayor is … you guessed it … a developer.
And look for “I recuse myself from …”
(boisterous laughter)

Curious
Curious
9 years ago

Time to vote them out! We need ethical and capable leaders and need to start recruiting their replacements now!

Johnny Burg
Johnny Burg
9 years ago

You clows that post here tirelessly negative are way too much! I read the TBID is 1-2% added to your bill and you are crying to not support the local economy, the town as a whole needs MORE CUSTOMERS like me that come to Mammoth and spend my hard earned… Read more »

Clows
Clows
9 years ago
Reply to  Johnny Burg

Number of visitors were up, TOT was up, but sales tax are down for the year to date Johnny, after the “best summer ever.” What could possibly be wrong with this equation? We’re about to be suckered to the likes of 3 times the MLLA settlement per year. Eight million… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
9 years ago
Reply to  Clows

So you will spend dollars on gas to drive somewhere else, and maybe even pay higher prices, to avoid a tax that will ultimately cost you pennies. Makes perfect sense to me, lol. We have some real intellects up here.

I'll be skiing in Tahoe
I'll be skiing in Tahoe
9 years ago

I’m boyotting TOML and MMSA. Neither are getting one more cent from me.

SierraFan
SierraFan
9 years ago

I’m not a fan of over taxation either but if you want a sustainable ski town then this needs to be done. Do the math, if you spend $3000 a year @ 1% it’s an additional $30 dollars or $60 at the 2%. It would probably cost you way more… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
9 years ago
Reply to  SierraFan

The entire cost of the tax cannot be transferred to the buyer. The cost will be split between buyer and seller in proportions that depend on the elasticity of demand and of supply. This is bedrock microeconomics. Read.

http://www.investopedia.com/exam-guide/cfa-level-1/microeconomics/tax-effects.asp

No more Taxes!
No more Taxes!
9 years ago
Reply to  SierraFan

Because I’m tired of paying taxes that businesses pocket!

Blood from a turnip?
Blood from a turnip?
9 years ago
Reply to  No more Taxes!

If you have not noticed by now, the middle class in America is rapidly disappearing. Almost everywhere you go you are finding the mega-rich in the same community as the dirt poor living high on the hot. And, as the law of economics goes, it is only the rich that… Read more »

MJA
MJA
9 years ago

More taxes, how much money do they need? =

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
9 years ago
Reply to  MJA

This is businesses deciding to tax themselves out of their revenues in order to pay for improvements to the business district as a whole, for things individual businesses would not pay for on their own. Why do you have such a problem with that?

h
h
9 years ago

Uh, customers will pay the increased tax on their bills – businesses are just passing through the increased tax amount. The issue is will the increased tax cause visitors and locals to continue spending their $$$. In the end, the answer is yes because there are few alternatives.

No more Taxes!
No more Taxes!
9 years ago

This is costing businesses zero dollars!

Why don’t they tell us the truth if this is on the up and up?

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
9 years ago
Reply to  No more Taxes!

No. No tax is paid for purely by the purchaser of a product. The cost of the tax is born by both the buyer and the seller. This is about the simpest explanation of how any tax works. http://www.investopedia.com/exam-guide/cfa-level-1/microeconomics/tax-effects.asp The proportions of the tax paid for by the buyer and… Read more »

All you need to know
All you need to know
9 years ago

Proposition 218 requires some existing TOTs (i.e., those enacted in 1995-96 without popular vote) to stand for a vote of ratification.”Any new TOTs or increases must likewise be approved by voters.”

A little slow even for a turtle!

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
9 years ago

Did All You Need to Know even read what I wrote? A business cannot pass the full cost of a tax on to the customer. Some of the tax is paid for by the seller and some by the buyer. That was the gist of the post, and the link… Read more »

No more Taxes!
No more Taxes!
9 years ago

Taxation without representation!

Vote with your dollars by boycotting local business. This is a scam on the taxpayers and our visitors, hold these culprits accountable by voting these stooges out of office.

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
9 years ago
Reply to  No more Taxes!

Where is the “without representation” part? The BID tax has to go up for public hearings and a vote of the City Council, and only then if a majority of businesses vote to go forward with the idea. By definition that is representation. At least put forth a logical counter… Read more »

No more Taxes!
No more Taxes!
9 years ago

All other measures required a 2/3 vote of the public to increase lodging TOT. This tax is being passed on to the consumer in the form of a tax, not being funded by business operating capital. Transient Occupancy Tax (Revenue and Taxation Code section 7280) The transient occupancy tax (TOT)… Read more »