When the Town of Jackson and Teton County meet to approve budgets for joint departments, it usually goes smoothly. But when the two groups of elected officials can’t agree, problems can arise.
Such was the case with the Travel and Tourism Board budget that was discussed last week. The board, known as TTB, was created to oversee spending of lodging tax collections in Teton County. While the town and county get 40% of the funds, it’s up to TTB to distribute the remainder of the money for off-season and winter promotion, events, visitor services, and data collection.
This year the TTB looks to collect 3.4 million in tax and to spend about 4.2 million, the difference being made up for with reserves. Of that, 1.4 million will be spent on marketing and 740,000 for events.
When the town and county met last week, Mayor Flitner and the council were satisfied with the budget and voted to approve it. The county commission, however, did not. Instead, the three commissioners in attendance would not approve and voted to continue the discussion until an undetermined date but likely to be June 6.
Commissioner Paul Vogelheim has said he wants to see changes that could have TTB paying for START bus and costs for the Visitor’s Center out of their promotional fund.
If the county casts a vote that changes the budget, it would then have to come back to the town for another vote. The town would have to schedule and vote again.
If the boards are still not in agreement, the process would continue.
The current TTB budget expires on June 30 and it is unclear that the group could operate after that date without an agreement between town and county.