Orchard City trustees consider tax questions

By Rick Smith

The Orchard City Board of Trustees held a workshop on Dec. 6. All trustees, except for Mayor Ken Volgamore, who was ill, attended the workshop. There were also four Orchard City constituents in attendance.

The trustees talked about ballot questions for the upcoming municipal election in April 2018. Tom Huerkamp drafted the language and reported he had discussed the information with the town attorney.

One measure being considered is for a 3 percent sales tax for the town, with possible implementation in 2018. The projected revenue would be $130,000 for a full year.

A marijuana initiative will also be on the April ballot. The estimated tax rate for sales would be 15 percent to the state and a 5 percent excise tax for the town. Marijuana would be taxed at the point of harvest. The town would not tax medical marijuana sales, but the excise tax would be collected if the sales were to recreational businesses. Orchard City would also be responsible for application, licensing and renewal fees for businesses. If the initiative passes in 2018, revenues would not be realized until the following year.

The board will come up with a procedure to educate the constituents on what a yea or nay vote will determine on all of the initiatives on the ballot. A suggestion was also made to address the pros and cons of each initiative prior to April. A resolution on all ballot issues must be adopted by February 2018. A town hall meeting will be scheduled prior to the April election.

Town administrator Melissa Oelke stated that the April election will be conducted by Delta County. Orchard City's cost would be $4,610. A resolution approving an intergovernmental agreement will be drafted for approval by the board.

The Orchard City town council will meet Wednesday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m. Earlier in the day there will be a special road committee meeting with the board and Doug Keller.