Vail Daily letter: Consider who pays | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily letter: Consider who pays

Shortly, you will be asked to vote on several local ballot issues, each of which will require increasing either sales tax or property tax, 1A (housing), 1B (accelerating trail construction and extending open space), 3A and 3B (school funding). Regardless of your feelings of taxes, consider this: Here in Eagle County literally between 60 and 70 percent of both sales tax and property tax is paid by nonresidents!

This little talked about silver lining of our successful resort economy is that not only do tourists and second-home owners drive our economy, they also pay for most of our government services. True, they benefit directly from some services like snow removal, but they get no benefit from our schools.

From a local resident's point of view, this is a bonanza. We vote to approve a government program but we "only" have to pay for 30 to 40 percent of the cost. Wow, talk about leveraging your investment.

Is that unfair to our tourists? Taxation without representation? Maybe.

So as you consider these ballot issues, look at them through the lens of the reality of who actually pays the most. You, or wealthy tourists and second homeowners.

Peter Runyon

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Former Eagle County commissioner