Rifle chamber of commerce to stay neutral on sales tax issue and recreation center

Mike McKibbin
Citizen Telegram Editor

The Rifle Area Chamber of Commerce will not take an official stance either for or against the 0.74 percent sales and use tax increase for a recreation center on the Sept. 10 municipal election ballot.

That decision followed a recent survey of chamber members that told three things, said chamber CEO and President Frank Ladd in a recent email to members.

“(1) Most surveyed feel the addition of the rec center was a positive for the community and they and their families would use it,” Ladd wrote. “(2) There was concern among those businesses that collect sales tax that an additional 0.74 percent tax would adversely affect their business. (3) The chamber should take no stance on this issue.”

Ladd added that contrary to “rumors and speculation from both sides of this issue, the chamber has previously taken no position.”

“We thought we had a good date. There’s the [Garfield County Fair] next week and a lot of stuff happening. ”
Frank Ladd
president & CEO, Rifle Area Chamber of Commerce

And Ladd noted that while both sides present compelling arguments and there are valid issues to be addressed pro and con, the chamber will remain neutral and take no stance on this issue.

“This is what, by a majority margin, our members want us to do,” he added in the email.

In an interview on Monday, July 29, Ladd said the chamber conducts member surveys when they are felt to be needed.

“We thought this was important enough because it affects our member businesses,” he said. “We sensed there was some division in the community over this, so we wanted to see what our members thought.”

However, Ladd said the chamber would not release the numerical results of the survey, so neither side could use it in their campaigning.

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