Gardiner Resort Area District
Minutes of the Regular Meeting – January 11, 2022
Chair Parks called the meeting to order at 7:02 PM. All members were present, including the Administrative Manager; Members of the public included, but not limited to, MacNeil Lyons, Mike Skelton, Ashea Mills, Cara McGary, Deb Mackay.
Administrative Manager Bush presented the December meeting minutes. Secretary/Treasurer Stone moved to approve the December minutes. Director Fuhrmann seconded the motion. No discussion was needed; all voted in favor; none opposed. Motion passed. Administrative Manager Bush presented the current expenses and financial reports for the month. Director Gerdes moved to approve the current expenses and financial reports. Vice-Chair Dalling seconded the motion. No discussion was needed; all voted in favor; none opposed. Motion passed.
In Old Business, Chair Parks welcomed the members of the public who came to discuss what constitutes a “nexus” to be considered “operating” in the district and therefore subject to collecting the tax from customers. An open discussion was held with the Board and members of the public. The public comments included the following:
Mike Skelton, Yellowstone Wonders and represents the Gardiner Chamber – His understanding that if business begins or ends within the district, then yes, it is subject to the tax; the Chamber does benefit greatly from the resort tax; clarifying what current guidelines are and what decisions the Board has made so far
Cara McGary, In Our Nature Guiding – Tours of “Yellowstone, not Gardiner”; driving down the road shouldn’t be considered a nexus; can just have all customers park on Front Street and take up all the parking
MacNeil Lyons, Yellowstone Insight – reiterated his opinion that his Bozeman based business should not be subject to the tax; our customers can take up all parking on Front Street
Ashea Mills, Walking Shadow Ecology Tours – businesses with no storefront, online transactions, only sometimes picking folks up in town; shouldn’t be subject to tax
Deb Mackay, business name unknown – the tax is paid by your customers and helps Gardiner with infrastructure costs which those customers do use; should be collecting the tax
Secretary/Treasurer Stone shared with the public an email from Nathan Varley, the Wild Side in support of the tax for all guiding businesses.
Further discussion was had regarding Gardiner businesses with storefronts in the District who sell tours for businesses located outside of the district. Secretary/Treasurer Stone questioned collecting tax on their commissions. Vice-Chair Dalling thanked everyone for the open discussion, saying the Board will have to consider advice from legal counsel and other resort tax districts as well. Chair Parks closed the discussion by saying the Board would continue to research this issue with a possible draft opinion for the February meeting; he doesn’t anticipate any voted-on decisions prior to the March meeting.
Next, in Old Business Secretary/Treasurer Stone presented the 2022 District Operating Budget for the Board’s review; discussion was had over how amounts were determined. Vice-Chair Dalling moved to approve the 2022 Operating Budget. Director Fuhrmann seconded the motion. No further discussion was needed; all voted in favor; none opposed. Motion passed.
Finally, the upcoming Board vacancies were discussed. Secretary/Treasurer Stone updated the Board on folks she has talked with to determine interest.
In New Business, Administrative Manager Bush brought up some notes found in the District’s accounting system regarding the end date for the Chambers’ Capital account. Mike Skelton explained that the account was set up to fund the purchase of the visitor center building. The ordinance language of “fully funded” implies the principal loan amount including interest will be covered. By his estimates, the Chamber will need approximately $88,000.00 more to have enough to complete this loan. Administrative Manager Bush will stay in contact with the chamber throughout next season for further updates on this capital account.
In Public Comment, Mike Skelton clarified what has gone on with Yellowstone Insight and the collection of the tax for the 2021 season.
The next regular meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 8th at 7:00 PM at the Gardiner Visitor Center. Vice-Chair Dalling moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:36 PM. Secretary/Treasurer seconded the motion. No discussion was needed; all voted in favor; none opposed. Motion passed.