Thursday, May 10, 2012

TRT increase narrowly appoved by county council

Despite weeks of debate by the Grand County Council and a number of letters objecting to a proposed increase to the transient room tax in Grand County, council members passed the measure by a 4-3 vote this week. The TRT rate – taxes charged for motel and other lodging rentals – will increase from 3 percent to 4.25 percent.

Council members Chris Baird, Chris Conrad, Audrey Graham, and Pat Holyoak all voted to approve the increase after hearing further discussion on the issue from Baird during the meeting. Council members Jim Nyland, Ken Ballantyne, and Gene Ciarus opposed the increase.

Baird, who spearheaded the proposal to increase the TRT, again stressed his belief that the increase would be beneficial to the county. Baird had previously said the higher tax rate would add $728,000 to the county’s revenue. He also said it would help relieve the burden on local property owners, who currently pay most of the cost for county services for area residents and the 2 million visitors to the county each year. Grand County only has 5 percent of land that is taxable to create revenue for the county’s general fund. Moab Times-Independent