Bed Tax for Public Transit System Gets Approval

04-Nov-2010 On November 2nd, the city of Ponderay gave a loud and pronounced “yes” to a bed tax, passing the ballot measure with a three to one majority.

The eight-year bed tax will place a 5-percent tax on short term stays in hotels. Idaho Code requires “resort” cities to use resort taxes to fund tourism encouraging programs. A bus system routed through Dover, Sandpoint, Ponderay and Kootenai is one such program. With a large portion of the money acquired from the bed tax, the cities will now qualify for additional grants transforming the half-million dollar, fare-free bus system from a proposal to a reality.

Now that the funds are secured, Bonner County residents could be hitting the road on the public transportation system before the year’s end. The City of Dover has already ordered a bus, and all that remains is to set up final routes and staff for the program.

According to District 1 mobility manager Cliff Warren, the first bus could be up and running in December. “The success of this tax is a wonderful result for the cities in Bonner County,” Warren said. “We’re thrilled to be able to move forward on the project.”


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