Vail Daily letter: ‘Yes’ on 1A
October 20, 2016
I would like to tell you why I am voting "yes" on 1A and to respond to some recent concerns. We can all agree that there is a problem with the affordability of housing here. Yet, opponents of 1A claim that it does not offer any concrete plans about how the money will be spent. Ask any developer or general contractor to provide concrete plans for the next 20 years on how many housing units they will build, where they will be built, and how much it will cost, and you will get the same answer … I don't know. And why is this: Because real estate, development and construction are dynamic industries that are based on ever-changing variables — the most important of those being land and its availability, or scarcity. Furthermore, the greatest asset of any business is its ability to adapt to market conditions and take advantage of opportunities. Simply put, absolutes do not favor dynamic businesses that adjust to the ever-changing market conditions and the needs of consumers — who, in this case, are the residents of Eagle County.
Nevertheless, what is needed is a clear vision and goals that help guide both decision-making and capital investments without imposing rigid parameters, which can be counterproductive to the ultimate goal of providing creative housing solutions. As such, I believe that the county has provided an appropriate plan, which includes down-payment assistance loans, rentals for our hard-working locals, and affordable single-family homes for our growing families. You can find this plan, along with answers to other questions, at voteyeson1A.com.
And yes, the tax applies to locals. But it also applies to all visitors, second-home owners, and people staying at many of these homes through the short-term rental market via Airbnb and similar services. In other words, the very people that have contributed to the problem of affordable housing in Eagle County will now finally be contributing to its solution through the sales taxes on purchases made during their stay.
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