Shrewd money managers needed
Getting county commissioner candidates to sign a pledge to lower taxes is a bit of a political stunt, yet one with some honest frustration behind it.
Vail Valley residents dealing with the increased costs of everything were understandably peeved when the county and other governments pounced on soaring home valuations and took all the extra money they could.
Voters were even more annoyed when the county announced it needed the money to expand its aging Justice Center even after a survey found taxpayers wouldn’t have approved such spending if it had been put on a ballot.
There is strong, bipartisan sentiment among voters this year that the county and other agencies should manage their money more efficiently.
Did the county really need a marketing study for the Eagle County airport? Especially one in which a new name for the airport was suggested and then widely rejected?
Still, we wonder how much of this anti-tax sentiment comes from people who can afford the increase but don’t want to give the government any more money and how much comes from people who are really struggling?
It’s an important question because when it comes to issues like affordable housing and health care, the free market ” often touted as the great savior by anti-tax activists ” is not solving the problems. Greed still plays a big role in this market ” it often sets prices at the maximum the market will pay for goods and services. And greed is often a stronger impulse than any fretting about the future of the middle class in Eagle County.
Government’s role is to provide for people left behind by the drive for maximum profit ” such as forcing builders to include affordable homes and widen roads along with new projects that will generate employees and traffic. We assume some of the same people assailing the county over taxes would be equally irritated to get stuck in a traffic jam on their way to Interstate 70.
So a pledge that ties a county commissioner’s hand is likely not in anyone’s best interest. What we hope for is that we will elect candidates who understand the government must help residents left behind by a pricey economy, but who also understand that voters expect elected officials to be shrewd money managers who won’t waste our taxes on slogans and logos.