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Statewide Emergency Telephone System (911) and TDD Fees


Each subscriber pays a monthly fee of one dollar for 9-1-1 and 10 cents for TDD, per access line. The fees are collected by telecommunications companies and remitted to the Department of Revenue.


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Montana Resort Tax Communities and Areas


Communities

Whitefish

Tax Rate - 2%, Year Enacted - 1996

Red Lodge

Tax Rate - 3%, Year Enacted - 1998

Virginia City

Tax Rate - 3%, Year Enacted - 1991

West Yellowstone

Tax Rate - 3%, Year Enacted - 1986

Resort Areas

St. Regis

Tax Rate - 3%, Year Enacted - 1993

Big Sky

Tax Rate - 3%, Year Enacted - 1992

Cooke City

Tax Rate - 3%, Year Enacted - 2006

Criag

Tax Rate - 3%, Year Enacted - 2011


* A community is an incorporated city or town with a population less than 5,500. A Resort Area is an unincorporated area with a population less than 2,500.*


Maximum Tax Rate

The maximum resort tax rate is 3% (7-6-1503, MCA), and at least 5% of the resort tax revenues must offset municipal property taxes (7-6-1507, MCA). Before collecting resort tax revenue, a community (incorporated) or area (unincorporated) must first be designated by the Department of Commerce as a resort community/area (7-6-1501, MCA). Then, a resolution outlining the tax must be approved by the local electorate (7-6-1504, MCA).

How to Designate a Town or Area

Under Montana State Law (7-6-1501, MCA), the Montana Department of Commerce is responsible for designating a town or unincorporated area as a resort community or resort area. The process for making this designation includes certifying the population of the community is less than 5,500 for an incorporated town and less than 2,500 for an unincorporated area based on population figures from the most recent federal census. Also, the Montana Department of Commerce must conclude that the major portion of the community or area’s economic well-being is derived from businesses catering to non-business travelers.

After a Community has been Designated

Once a community has been designated a resort community or area, a ballot initiative is required to implement the tax. The local electorate must decide on the rate, the duration of the tax, the effective date, and how the revenue is to be allocated. Section 7-6-1503, MCA explains, (a) The resort tax is a tax on the retail value of all goods and services sold, except for goods and services sold for resale, within the resort community or area by the following establishments: (i) hotels, motels, and other lodging or camping facilities; (ii) restaurants, fast food stores, and other food service establishments; (iii) taverns, bars, night clubs, lounges, and other public establishments that serve beer, wine, liquor, or other alcoholic beverages by the drink; and (iv) destination ski resorts and other destination recreational facilities. (b) Establishments that sell luxuries shall collect a tax on such luxuries. Luxuries are defined as any gift or luxury item normally sold to the public or tourists with the exception of: unprepared food, medicine or medical supplies, appliances, hardware supplies and tools, or any necessities of life (7-6-1501, MCA). Existing resort tax resolutions include sporting good rentals, books, magazines, souvenirs, and even antiques as luxuries. For more information please visit the Montana Department of Transportation - Resort and Local Option Taxes web page.


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Rental Vehicle Sales Tax


There is a 4% rental vehicle sales tax imposed on the purchaser, which is collected by the seller and remitted to the Department of Revenue.

-Automobiles (including vans, sport utility vehicles, or trucks having a capacity of 1 ton or less)
-Motorcycles
-Motor-driven cycles (meaning motorcycles or scooters with a motor that
produces 5 horsepower or less)
-Quadricycles (a four-wheeled motor vehicle, designed for on-road or off-road
use, that has a motor that produces 50 horsepower or less)
-Motorboats (including a canoe, kayak, personal watercraft, rubber raft or
pontoon, propelled by any motor or engine of any description)
-Sailboats (any vessel that uses a sail and wind as its primary source of
propulsion)
-Off-highway vehicles (including motorcycles, quadricycles, dune buggies,
amphibious vehicles, deriving power from any source other than muscle or wind)
-Any truck, trailer or semi-trailer with a gross vehicle weight of less than 22,000
pounds used to transport personal property

Farm vehicles, machinery, equipment, travel trailers, motor homes, airplanes, snowmobiles, golf carts, and sail boards are not subject to the tax.

The tax does not apply to a vehicle rented to the federal government, or any agency or instrumentality of the federal government if the sale is billed directly to and paid directly by the federal government. However, sales to a state, county, or local government are subject to the rental vehicle tax.

The rental vehicle sales tax applies when the vehicle is:

-Rented for a period not exceeding 30 days
-Rented without a driver, pilot, or operator
-Designed to transport 15 or fewer passengers
-Rented pursuant to a contract for insurance
-Rented pursuant to a warranty contract

Base rental charges include:

-Charges for time of use of the rental
-Charges for mileage
-Charges for personal accident insurance
-Charges for additional drivers or underage drivers
-Charges for accessory equipment (child safety seats, luggage racks, etc.)

Base rental charges do not include:

-Vehicle discounts
-Fees imposed to operate at an airport terminal
-Motor fuel
-Intercity vehicle drop charges
-Any taxes imposed by federal, state and local governments

A vendor that files and pays the rental vehicle sales tax timely is allowed a 5% vendor allowance, not to exceed $1,000 per quarter. In addition, each vendor that is required to collect and remit the 4% rental vehicle sales tax must apply to the Department of Revenue for a seller's permit before they can engage in business.

All revenues are deposited to the General Fund. (15-68-101 through 15-68-820, MCA)


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Lodging Facility Sales and Use Tax


The Lodging Facility Use Tax is 4% of the lodging charge and is collected by the owner or operator of the facility. Proceeds from the tax are deposited in a state special revenue fund to the credit of the Department of Revenue. Department administrative costs are paid, various state funds are reimbursed for taxes paid by state agencies for in-state lodging and $400,000 each year goes to Montana Heritage Preservation Fund.

The balance is distributed: 67.5% to the Department of Commerce for its direct use, 1% to the Montana Historical Society, 2.5% to the university system for the Montana Travel Research Program, and 6.5% to the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Park for maintenance of facilities. The remaining 22.5% goes to various regional nonprofit tourism corporations unless that particular city-county area collects in excess of $35,000 in proceeds annually. In this instance, half of the amount available for distribution to the nonprofit tourism corporation would instead go to a nonprofit convention and visitor's bureau in that city-county region. (MCA 15-65-111, 15-65-121).

The Lodging Facility Sales Tax is a 3% tax on accommodations and campgrounds. This tax is in addition to the 4% lodging facility use tax and is effective for accommodations and campground fees collected on or after June 1, 2003. Proceeds from the tax is deposited in the state's general fund. Any sales to and uses by the U.S. Government, or any agency or instrumentality of the U.S. Government, are exempt from the sales and use tax. Facilities are allowed a 5% vendor allowance (not to exceed $1,000 in a quarter) if the tax is timely and fully remitted to the Department of Revenue. The vendor allowance applies only to the 3% sales and use tax; it does not apply to the 4% lodging facility use tax. Each facility with sales subject to the 3% sales and use tax must apply to the Department of Revenue for a seller's permit. (MCA 15-68-101 through 15-68-860)