Tourism is a major economic engine in Montana. We appreciate your support in protecting our industry and helping protect the 4 percent bed tax used to support travel-related organizations as we continue to market Montana as a key travel destination and a prime place where memories are made, special moments are remembered and experiences are created.
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Key Issues To Keep In Mind When Writing Letters To The Editor
- Tourism is the second largest industry in Montana.
- Nonresident visitors had a total economic impact of $3.48 billion to Montana in 2008.
- In 2009, $2.4 billion in new money from nonresident travel came into Montana.
- 10 million visitors traveled to Montana in 2008. This translated to 10 new customers per Montana resident for Main Street businesses.
- Tourism and recreation businesses support 42,210 Montana jobs and provide $897 million in worker’s salaries.
- $.75 of every visitor dollar is spent in our local communities.
- Tourism is a supporter of Montana’s General Fund. The 3 percent Lodging Facilities Sales Tax (added in 2003) deposited more than $12 million into the General Fund in FY09.
- Every bed tax dollar ($1) that is invested in promoting Montana yielded $50 spent in the state by nonresident visitors which equated to $3.50 in state and local taxes. Of this $3.50, $2.12 is returned directly to the General Fund.
Currently, a 4 percent bed tax (lodging facility use tax) is collected at all lodging properties in Montana. That 4 percent is divided between several travel-related partners, including Montana Office of Tourism, Tourism Regions and Convention and Visitor Bureaus, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Montana Historical Society, Montana Heritage Preservation and Development Commission, University of Montana (ITRR) and Department of Revenue.
Organizations that receive this funding depend on it. Bed tax dollars are used to market Montana, specific regions and communities to visitors, enticing them to choose Montana for their vacation. Without these bed tax funds, these organizations would not be able to sustain current programs and effectively market to nonresident travelers.
Tourism is competitive. It is imperative that the 4 percent bed tax remains intact and continues to be solely dedicated to supporting travel-related organizations and programs in order to continue attracting visitors to Montana.