Email Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. In a strong turnout, voters in Columbia Falls approved a ballot measure last week to implement a 3% resort tax within city limits, to be effective for 20 years, with more than half of the revenue slated to go toward public safety funding, including a staffed fire department, and 25% directed to property tax relief.The final tally was 768 voting in favor and 670 against, which means well over 50% of registered voters submitted ballots for the June 2 election, according to City Manager Susan Nicosia.“We had an excellent turnout,” Nicosia said. “The vote reflects the communication and information that the city council put out. They worked on it for almost two years, putting it all together, carefully identifying what will be taxed, defining what’s a luxury. The council really did a lot of work in advance, and I think that people saw that.”The Columbia Falls City Council will hold a public meeting process to formally adopt an ordinance enacting the proposal, which calls for a 3% tax on non-essential “luxury” goods and services sold by businesses only within city limits, while exempting a long list of “necessities of life,” with the goal of minimizing impact on local residents and maximizing tourism dollar catch.The city council held a series of public meetings in January and February to solicit public input and tweak the tax’s draft proposal, which was crafted by an advisory committee consisting of city councilors and volunteer members of the public.City officials estimate the tax will conservatively generate $450,000 a year. The city initially planned to begin collecting the tax this fall, but Nicosia said the council unanimously voted to delay the starting collection date a year, to Oct. 1, 2021, to account for the financial damage inflicted by the COVID-19 public health crisis.“This will give people time to emotionally and financially heal after being hit with the pandemic,” Nicosia said.The Montana Department of Revenue defines a resort tax as a local-option sales tax that applies to a list of goods and services in the general categories of hotels, motels and other lodging or camping facilities; restaurants, fast food and other food-service establishments; taverns, bars, night clubs, lounges or other public establishments that serve alcohol; and destination ski resorts or other destination recreational facilities.“The fundamental idea behind resort taxes is to allow places with high numbers of visitors, but relatively few residents, to manage the wear-and-tear on local infrastructure without overburdening local citizens,” the Department of Revenue states.To be eligible for a resort tax, a town or area must meet certain population thresholds, as well as demonstrate that a major portion of the economy is based on tourism. The Montana Department of Commerce told Columbia Falls in April 2019 that it qualified as a resort community. By state law, local voters were required to vote on a ballot initiative outlining the tax rate, duration, effective date and allocation.Whitefish also has a resort tax, along with Red Lodge, Virginia City, West Yellowstone, Big Sky, Cooke City, Craig, Gardiner, St. Regis and Wolf Creek.Individual businesses are responsible for collecting the tax, and 5% of tax revenues in Columbia Falls will be set aside for “administrative fees for businesses” to reimburse them for their efforts. The rest of the tax revenue will be distributed as: 55% for public safety funding; 25% for property tax relief; 14% for public infrastructure funding; and 1% for city administration costs.The resort tax grew out of discussions over how to best fund public safety, as the city had identified a paid fire department as a top priority. City officials researched the issue and decided a resort tax would be a better funding mechanism than alternatives such as a public-safety bond. Councilors noted that increasing numbers of tourists strain infrastructure and public safety resources but don’t pay for any of it.
A batch of high-specification Enviro400s have been delivered to Stagecoach South. They were supplied by Alexander Dennis (01909 551166).The buses have a dual purpose. On weekdays they will be used between the University of Chichester’s two campuses. At the weekend they will be put to work on the Coastliner 700 service that runs from Bognor Regis to Portsmouth.Delivery of the Stagecoach South Enviro400s marks a continuation of a successful partnership between the operator and the university. They have audio-visual announcements and the manufacturer’s SmartSeat.Says Stagecoach South MD Edward Hodgson: “We see this as a positive step forwards and a significant contribution to improving air quality – reducing our environmental impact and hopefully encouraging more customers to switch to bus.”
Hawk Racing’s news is focused on their wheels, which are all now hand built in Florida using Sapim spokes and Italian Alpina self-locking nipples. They were being built in Taiwan by a friend of his, but they closed their facility to do other things. We’re glad to see it come home.The wind tunnel tested Veyron rims gain a 42mm carbon clincher. Founder Sven Folmer says the profile is similar to Zipp’s Firecrest shape but are his own design, not from a catalog (yes, we asked directly). Weight is 1,590g for the set, retail is $2,999. His new hubs get a carbon shell with straight pull 20/24 spokes and will be used mostly on the Veyron wheels.
Why has the weather changed?Recent conditions in North America – with cold Arctic air sinking far southwards – has brought unusually cold weather to parts of North America. This cold air encounters relatively warm air in the western Atlantic. This creates a strong temperature gradient along the boundary between the two air masses which will strengthen the jet stream – a high-altitude fast-flowing wind which often brings low-pressure systems and storms to our shores. As the jet stream then comes east across the Atlantic, it drives areas of low pressure towards the UK, with associated spells of strong winds and rain.Keep Up to date with local weather news at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk A Yellow wind warning has been issued for Wednesday (21 December) covering north and northwest Scotland. Here frequent blustery showers will occur, often accompanied by thunder and lightning and these showers will turn increasingly wintry even to low levels. Meanwhile a front will bring rain to parts of the south of England.The unsettled weather will continue through Thursday with another low pressure system bringing some stormy weather for Friday. Deputy Chief Meteorologist, Martin Young said: “The exact track and impact of this system is still uncertain but very strong winds and some heavy rain are expected. At the moment it looks like northern and western areas will be worst affected. However this situation could change”.“The disturbed conditions look like continuing through Christmas weekend with the chance another vigorous low pressure system may head our way. Therefore it is worth staying up to date with the latest forecasts”.Keep up to date with the weather using our forecast pages and by following us on Twitter and Facebook, as well as using our new mobile app which is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from the Google Play store.You can now keep track of the weather across a number of locations using our App. You can use the ‘day’ view during the countdown to Christmas or the ‘hourly’ view, to help you plan out your day. We also have a Christmas app campaign to help with Christmas planning.You can find the Met Office app by searching ‘Met Office’ in app stores.For more information on preparing for winter, please check the Met Office Get Ready for Winter pages. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInAfter the relatively quiet and dry conditions many of us have had for much of December there are now signs that much more unsettled weather is heading our way in the lead-up to Christmas.As many plan festive visits to friends and family the weather is getting more disturbed.The windiest and wettest weather is likely to be in the north and west of the UK, particularly Northern Ireland and the north and west of Scotland. Other parts of the UK are also expected to see increasingly windy weather.The wet and windy weather, which is as a result of a succession of deep Atlantic low pressure systems, gets underway tomorrow (20 December) with the northwest expecting a band of rain, heavy at times. There will also be strengthening winds which could reach severe gale force in the extreme northwest of Scotland.[vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/aa6j2FZo3Q0″]
The midfielder bid farewell to Villarreal ahead of the team’s final game of La Liga against Eibar on Sunday.The 35-year-old has enjoyed a brilliant third spell at Villarreal after two years of horrendous injuries.Cazorla previously made 180 appearances over six years for Arsenal and has 81 caps for Spain. He also played for Malaga and Recreativo Huelva after first joining Villarreal as a teenager.“We have reached an agreement with Santi Cazorla. He will reach Doha soon to complete the formalities and join the team. Welcome to Al-Sadd, Santi!” the Qatari side wrote on its verified Twitter account.Cazorla said in a video posted by Villarreal on social media that the club had “given me everything”.“At 18 they took a punt on a boy from Oviedo who knew nobody,” he said.