In Whitefish, clothing is a luxury item. In Columbia Falls, this is only true of some clothing, specifically: “logo wear, recreational clothing, gear and accessories that have been screen printed, embroidered, or otherwise imprinted with designs depicting or containing words such as Montana, Columbia Falls, Flathead County/Valley, Glacier Park or any combination thereof”
In Whitefish, batteries are a luxury. In Columbia Falls, they are a luxury too- unless you buy them from a chain store. So, a local business in Columbia Falls must charge you 3% than a chain store for the same item. That said- if you’re shopping chain stores, instead of local small businesses, picking Columbia Falls over Whitefish is a good choice financially.
Or, you could go to Kalispell, where they won’t charge you an extra 3% on your consignment store clothes, yard sale bicycle, and ready-made sandwich.
Here’s the list of places in the state with that 3% resort tax.