McCall Considers Cutting LOT Purse Strings to Nonprofits

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After funding nonprofits and charitable organizations for years, the city of McCall is now leaning toward funneling the receipts from its 3 percent local option tax to its own interests.

This week's McCall Star-News reports that three of five City Council members agree that nonprofit groups would be cut from the tax, which was approved by voters. And nowhere in the LOT ordinance does it say that money should be given to non-city organizations, according to McCall officials.

McCall lawmakers are pointing to the McCall Chamber of Commerce as an example. The Star-News reports that since 2005, the McCall Chamber has pulled in more than $200,000 in LOT funds to use for holiday lighting and fireworks, staffing and matches for tourism grants. 

One proposal would see LOT funds used for city operations, such as parks, public works, the local airport and the McCall Golf Course, according to the Star-News.

McCall nonprofits are already pushing back against the proposed change. For instance, the McCall Area Snowmobilers group, which has received $213,000 for its snowmobile trail grooming program, is warning that visitors to the resort community would decline and "city fathers would have to be held responsible for the significant hit on the local economy."