A representative from Authorize Community Transformation will be in Missoula on Tuesday morning to discuss the possibility of establishing a local option sales tax for special community projects.

Dan Brooks with the Billings Chamber of Commerce will be speaking at a meeting sponsored by the Missoula Downtown Association at The Public House from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

"We're hoping to meet with the Missoula Downtown Association to hopefully get their support for a local option authorization during the upcoming legislative session," Brooks said. "I'll be there to present some background for support to benefit a statewide spectrum of Montanans."

Brooks explains the concept of a local option.

"It's a sales tax that can be implemented at the local level," he said. "Essentially, the process goes like this. The city council would appoint a citizens advisory council that takes suggestions, comments and feedback from the community for the projects that need to be built, the potential rate of the tax, and the duration of the tax which would not exceed 10 years. That would go back to the city council for approval and then onto the ballot."

At this time, some smaller Montana communities are allowed to levy what is called a resort tax. Brooks said Authorize Community Transformation wants to broaden the scope to not only eliminate the population factor, but to also allow for more broad categories for taxation, so that more communities will have the option to fund projects.

"The way that we intend it to be used is that communities will identify a project, or multiple projects that they want to have built so they can build a rate and a duration for whatever projects they feel they need," he said. "We're trying to create some flexibility in the way that communities can pay for their capital improvement projects, for whatever the community wants and needs."

The meeting is Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Public House, located at 130 East Broadway, with lunch provided by Biga Pizza. The cost is $12 per person, and an RSVP is required to attend.

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