Vail Daily letter: ‘No’ on 1A
October 11, 2016
Vote "no" on 1A. This is an ill-conceived and barely thought-out ready, fire, aim approach. Justifying a sales tax increase because it is a minuscule amount is no justification at all. And without any concrete plans on how to spend the money and actually solve the affordable housing problem, we the voters are simply writing a semi-blank check without any accountability.
Many of the same people who support 1A support raising the minimum wage. I support raising it, too. But if we support raising the minimum wage so that people can live better, then why aren't we lobbying local businesses to raise wages so that workers can live here? Isn't 1A a transfer of responsibility from businesses to taxpayers?
1A also hurts those same workers we are trying to help by raising their taxes. And if higher taxes are the answer, why aren't we taxing our visitors, through an additional hospitality tax, lift ticket tax, etc.? Why aren't we demanding that Vail Associates build affordable housing? Why aren't the towns of the valley working together to solve this problem by pooling their resources?
Yes, we have an affordable housing problem. But 1A is not the answer. It offers no concrete plan. It taxes those it seeks to help. It transfers the burden from businesses who should be paying higher wages to the taxpayers. And it doesn't even tax the full Vail Valley constituency who visit here and often create the housing problem themselves.
Like the original Skier Building purchase which I lobbied against (and helped Avon to save $1.7 million) and the Sun & Ski $500,000 sales tax rebate which I was against and which was voted down without detriment, this is yet another example of taxing and spending our money without thought and without accountability. Why do we constantly want our local government spending our tax dollars when they don't do it wisely and they don't fully vet alternative solutions?
Vote "no" on 1A and then let's get to work actually solving this problem intelligently.
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