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Wood River Voters Give Thumbs Up to Airline Tax

Benito Baeza

HAILEY, Idaho (AP) — Voters in the tourist towns of Hailey and Ketchum have approved an additional tax on hotel rooms and rental cars to subsidize commercial airline service.

Results from Tuesday’s election show the proposal won support from 66 percent of voters in Hailey and 64 percent in nearby Ketchum. Boise State Public Radio reports the additional 1 percent tax is projected to raise about $2 million per year.

The proceeds will be used to entice airlines to serve the Wood River Valley and its Friedman Memorial Airport through direct subsidies to carriers or advertising support. Airline industry officials have said guaranteed payments help ensure new routes will be profitable and are critical to brining service to new areas. The proposal needed support from 60 percent of voters to pass.

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