Sun Valley Local Option Tax For Air Travel Could Be On May Ballot

Feb 6, 2017

Voters in the Wood River Valley may be asked to consider another local option tax to fund airline services and marketing efforts.

A 1 percent local option tax passed by voters in Ketchum, Hailey and Sun Valley in 2012 and 2013 generated about $2.5 million. According to the Idaho Mountain Express newspaper, about half of that money goes to Fly Sun Valley Alliance. The group pays for flight contracts with United and Alaska Airlines, as well as marketing campaigns in major cities.

Now, officials with Fly Sun Valley Alliance are pushing to get a measure on the May ballot to approve a renewal of the 1 percent tax. Alliance Director Carol Waller is scheduled to talk to the Ketchum and Hailey city councils about the issue Monday night.

If the renewal goes through, the local option tax would be added to the state’s sales tax in Blaine County.
Since the tax took effect in 2013, flights to Denver, San Francisco and Portland have been added. The Alliance reports the number of people who flew out of Friedman Memorial Airport increased by 53 percent  since the 2013 tax went into effect.

Find Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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