Hello, many of you know me as the former owner of the Bedrock Store. In regards to your sugar tax, I have been reading these stories and I finally have decided to weigh in. Montrose County implemented a similar tax while I was still running the store. In our case, I was not aware of any big outside interests lobbying this way or that; we storekeepers were just informed by our county’s revenue update newsletter. In our case, as I recall, there was a straight across-the-board tax on sugary drinks and candy. I don’t remember if it was 1 percent, but it was just an additional tax regardless of the size or ounces of the product sold. This is a huge difference from your county’s proposal, in that cash registers are designed by category, not size. Most clerks simply ring up items under the appropriate key (food, candy, non-food, gas, etc.). They won’t or can’t be bothered with math.
Of course, my cash register was a basic form, not computerized to read bar codes. If I had to have a different or additional tax per ounce, I’d have to have 32 keys allotted for this. However, even if your tax was simple, like ours was, I still found that every additional thing clerks needed to know made it just that much harder to train them, or for them to feel comfortable doing their jobs. For example, are teas a sugary drink? Most of them are, but the non-sweetened teas are not. How about trail mix? If they have nuts and raisins only, they are food, but if they have M&Ms included, they are rung up under the candy key. The list of confusion goes on and on, and then there was the added complexity of the sales tax report. My main problem was with training employees to understand the differences. You people have seemed to make it even more complicated, perhaps mostly for the programmer of the bar code reading cash register departments.
So, perhaps the Bedrock Store just is so outdated we don’t fit into the Telluride cash register mode. However, I also find it interesting that Telluride seems to think they are groundbreakers, when Montrose County implemented this years ago without any elections or big outside interests lobbying.
Just weighing in from little ol’ Bedrock.
– Rose Griffin