Northwest Montana News

Northwest Montana News

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Big Sky voters asked to approve sales tax increase

Taxes

By Wayne Baker | Jan 27, 2020

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Voters in May will be heading to the ballot box to decide whether to increase the sales tax from 3 percent to 4 percent in May.

Officials with the Big Sky County Water and Sewer District said the extra revenue will pay for upgrades and the expansion of sewer and water services.

Big Sky residents, if they approve the measure, will see the resort town's wastewater treatment plant’s capacity go from 600,000 gallons per day to 910,000 gallons, bringing with that expansion more than 3,800 new hookups in a project that is expected to cost up to $45 million.

A $12 million pipeline system is also on the drawing board, but the water and sewer district must first gain approval from residents. The environmental benefits, according to officials, include expanding what the wastewater treatment plant can handle, meaning that it can go beyond its current restrictive use of treating wastewater for irrigation purposes.

The district would also gain the ability to treat wastewater from the canyon area, which is not a current function, as it is treated in septic drain fields. Big Sky residents currently pay a 3 percent luxury tax. 

If the new tax gains approval after the May election, it will go into effect July 1.

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