In the mid-1980’s the Montana Legislature approved a law that allows certain towns and resort areas to implement a “resort tax” to help defray the costs associated with providing infrastructure and services to visitors to the area.
In November of 1985, The Town of West Yellowstone voters approved assessing a 3% tax on certain “luxury” goods and services. Resort tax revenues have allowed the Town to pave and maintain streets and other infrastructure, provide a fully staffed, professional police force and dispatch center, and provide many of the amenities enjoyed by both residents and visitors.
Originally, merchants retained 5% of the tax they collected as an administrative fee and submitted the rest to the Town. Merchants now retain 2.5% of the tax they collect and have dedicated the remaining 2.5% to the Marketing and Promotions fund (MAP). MAP is overseen by a citizen’s advisory board appointed by the Town Council. The board recommends projects and events for funding to the Town Council. Events such as the Pine Needle Stampede race, the Rendezvous Cross Country Ski Race, Ice Fishing Tournament, Music in the Park, Klondike Dreams Dog Sled Races, and many other events that help visitors enjoy all that West Yellowstone has to offer. In fiscal year 2008, the Town Council allocated $25,000 as seed money for MAP. Nearly $70,000 is collected annually and is available for promotional activities.
Resort tax is collected on the retail value of all goods and services sold within West Yellowstone. Click below to read the current resort tax ordinance:
Resort Tax Payments
Businesses must submit resort taxes to the Town on a monthly basis during regular business hours (8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, M-F), on or before the twentieth day of the month following the collection, or if such day falls on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, then on the next business day.
Resort tax collection administration fee
Merchants may withhold 2.5% of the resort taxes collected to help defray costs associated with collection and accounting for the tax, provided that tax payments are received by the Town by the submission deadline (Municipal Code 3.12.060.)
Navigate to Forms to download Resort Tax transmittal form, or obtain them at the Town Office. Call the Town Office at (406) 646-7795 for more information.
Marketing and Promotions Fund
In 2007, the Town Council passed Ordinance No. 222 which established a Marketing and Promotions (MAP) fund for the promotion of the West Yellowstone area. Two and one-half percent of collected resort taxes are dedicated to the MAP fund. The Town Council may appropriate additional revenues to the MAP fund. Please click here for the MAP Fund Application and click here for the suggested Budget Worksheet.
For more history on resort tax please click here to go to resort tax info in our visitor’s section or use our link to the Town of West Yellowstone Municipal Code.
Possible Eligible Projects & Activities:
1. Joint Marketing Ventures.
2. Brochures, travel guides, image pieces, maps.
3. Regional or national print and electronic advertising campaigns.
4. Outdoor billboards.
5. Direct mail promotions.
6. Familiarization tours.
7. Promotion of special events.
8. Infrastructure that has the potential to increase the number of visitors or to extend visitor stays.
9. Market research, which may include conversion studies & focus groups.
10. Marketing and promotion projects not identified herein will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the MAP advisory board.
Consider…my project application