HELENA — Voters in Wolf Creek could decide late this summer whether to implement a 3 percent seasonal resort tax to help pay for a new wastewater treatment system for the tourist town along the Missouri River.
County elections supervisor Audrey Dufrechou said the ballots will be mailed out on Aug. 26 to roughly 40 registered voters in Wolf Creek. Votes will be counted on Sept. 16.
The proposed tax would be effective from April 1 through Nov. 15 each year for 20 years. It calls for the greater of $50,000 or 90 percent of the tax collected each year to be applied toward the construction and maintenance of the wastewater system.
The tax would be applied to luxury items such as restaurant meals, liquor sold by the drink and lodging. It would not apply to necessities such as groceries or medicine.
The town has also applied for grants to help pay the estimated $3.4 million cost of the wastewater system.
Eight miles north in Craig — another town that draws visitors who want to fish the Missouri River — the 3 percent resort tax brought in more than $130,000 between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014. Just over $111,000 of that money will go toward the estimated $3.2 million cost of a wastewater system the town plans to install beginning later this summer. Craig approved its resort tax in 2010.
In both cases, the towns need new wastewater systems because as their old septic systems failed there was not always room for new ones that were far enough away from drinking water wells.