Vail council candidate Jermaine Wates in his own words
Local bartender: Short-term rentals are ‘unsustainable’
The Vail Daily is running Q&A’s with the 10 candidates running for four seats on the Vail Town Council. The questionnaires will run in the order that the candidates appear on the ballot. The town is participating in Eagle County’s coordinated election. Ballots will be mailed out Oct. 8.
Name: Jermaine A.J. Wates
Length of residence in Vail: Nine years, four months.
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Have you served on any other town boards or commissions? (that includes the Vail Recreation District and county boards and commissions, if any): Unfortunately, no.
Why do you want this job? To make a difference where it counts within the community.
What has the current council done well? What could it have done better? The current council has done a fantastic job at the recovery of Vail from the COVID-19 pandemic.
What the town council could have done differently is address the workforce housing crisis the entire county is currently facing.
What’s your position on the proposed half-cent sales tax increase for housing initiatives? I think it’s unfair to raise taxes on everyone when only a few are able to take advantage of the environment we are currently in. According to AirDNA.co, roughly 50% of all housing in the town of Vail alone is currently listed as short-term rentals on the major sites (Airbnb and Vrbo). That number is simply unsustainable, and those who want to take advantage of the environment should carry the burden of the housing crisis. On the other hand, those who live in their home and those property owners that do rent to long-term residents should be entitled to tax cuts for addressing a major problem within our community.
If elected, what’s the main thing you’d like to see the council accomplish in the next two or four years? In the next two to four years, I would like to see the housing crisis addressed thoroughly in a manner that’s is fair to those who short-term rent and those that long-term rent with appropriate regulations for the short-term market. It is unfair for some to reap the benefits of having a short-term rental without having the responsibility of essentially having a small hotel.