Vail Daily letter: I’d support child-care tax
July 24, 2016
I was disheartened to see the July 13 Vail Daily headline "Report cites child care crisis." As a small-business owner and a father of two, my family and I have invested a lot in this community and want to see it thrive. Between the ever-increasing costs of health care, housing and childcare, living in this area is becoming out of reach for our workforce.
As I read on, I was encouraged to see that our county commissioners are taking these issues seriously, and considering meaningful strategies to address them. The recently released county report that cites the childcare crisis also provides recommendations to address childcare and early learning accessibility, affordability and quality, but it will take funding to do this. In surrounding counties like Summit and Pitkin, residents have a voted in a tax to make childcare and housing more affordable for their workforce. Even though my business is in the retail sector, I would support a sales tax — just pennies on every $10 — to provide the workforce some financial relief, while creating additional childcare spaces and early learning opportunities to help our kids get ready for kindergarten.
I was also encouraged to read the commentary by Dick Rothkopf (Wednesday's Vail Daily). Mr. Rothkopf states that a group of concerned local citizens have committed to raise $12 million to build a high-quality educational center for children ages 0-5, if some public funds are available to help operate it. He cited the possibility of Colorado Mountain College providing educational programming for early childhood teachers, including those that are bilingual. According to Mr. Rothkopf, this single school would create 40 jobs in the $30,000 to $60,000 range, and eventually add $15 million to the county's GDP.
Addressing such an important issue that contributes to the success of our littlest citizens while helping to grow our economy and retain our workforce is something I could really get behind!
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