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406 Forum: Resort Tax Funding

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The Big Sky Resort Area District tax board has approximately $6 million* of funds to allocate this year, and 24 organizations are requesting $5.9 million, including rollovers from the previous year.

*Approximately $6 million will be available if the board uses the district’s $1.3 million sinking fund and if April through June revenue meets projections.

Which three organizations or projects are the most important to fund and why?

406_Ryan_BlechtaRyan Blechta, Big Sky
“I think the fire department, BSCO [Big Sky Community Organization] … and Morningstar. I believe the resort tax was set up for [organizations like] the Big Sky Fire Department; BSCO because it keeps visitors happy and [provides] activities for our visitors. Morningstar because basically everybody here has kids and we need to have somewhere for our kids to go while we are at work.”

Bayard Dominick, Big Sky
“I think affordable housing is a huge issue. This is sort of a once-in-a-generation opportunity to get something started … I think the work that the [BSCO] does in terms of its focus on safety and pedestrian transportation is a great thing as well … Obviously, the work that the Chamber and Visit Big Sky does in terms of what it’s doing generating business [is important].”

Helena Groves, Belgrade
“I think the BSRAD board should scrap the highway monuments. I think it’s not the best use of community funds and also I think the pedestrian tunnel could maybe be tabled until we have more affordable housing for the local workforce. I’m a big fan of trail and park expansion [and] the Big Sky Fire Department is pretty essential. I’m obviously a big proponent of the Community Housing Trust. The Visit Big Sky kiosks I’m a little bit uncertain about … I heard that they were up and taken down. I’m obviously all for marketing in Big Sky, but almost $100,000 for them is a lot.”

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