Letters to the Editor for Friday, Oct. 21, 2022

Increased Lodging Tax Support

I am writing to encourage everyone in the Estes Valley to vote to support the new lodging tax. This tax will not cost residents of the valley (us) anything; the tax will only be incurred by visitors.  And more importantly, the amount is small enough so that it won’t discourage visitors. Yet, it will raise significant revenue that can be used to assist in the development of affordable housing.

Our valley desperately needs more affordable housing so that the businesses we and tourists depend on can function. Local restaurants cannot staff to a level to keep their dining rooms open. Auto repair shops have no workers and cannot maintain a level of business that pays their overhead. Construction crews are short of workers. Lines in Safeway are often over a 45-minute wait due to a lack of workers. The list of businesses that need more workers is endless. Our quality of life and cost of living are daily being affected by the shortage of workers and related shortage of housing.

This tax and the initiatives it will support are not growth initiatives. The goal is not to make the town bigger or to attract more people. The goal is to allow the people who work here to live here. We all love to live here. The people who provide services to us love to work here, and they should be able to also share in the joy of living here. Yes, this may lead to some redevelopment and some increased density of housing. If done well and with good planning, this can be done attractively and without negatively impacting neighboring areas.

I encourage you to not only vote for this new tax; I also encourage you to be an ambassador by helping to encourage others to also vote for this initiative.

Scott Stewart

Estes Park

Ballot issue 6E

I have been in town over 45 years, and do you know what they were talking about back then? Workforce housing! Still no solution. Somebody has decided that taking money away from tourists and giving it to the town will solve the problem. Well I beg to differ.

How about getting the government out of the way so private business is better able to solve the problem?

Change the zoning so more property is available for development. How about a well-designed trailer park or modular home space? (I can hear the gasps all over town).

Can we have less ominous building codes that keep things safe without adding thousands of dollars to building costs?

Do we need a residential fire code when this is covered with building code? Once again adding unnecessary costs?

How about getting rid of the town property tax?

But the tourists will pay for it you say, every dollar taken out in taxes is a dollar not spent in the community and at what point do the tourists say to heck with Estes Park it is too expensive.

Estes Park has had a housing authority for quite some time now and there has been no improvement for work-force housing, in fact things have gotten worse.

Time to start thinking out of the box and get the government out of the way!

Ballot issue 6E is a tax with no limitations, if passed it is exempt from TABOR limits. Quote from ballot language:

“THE DISTRICT AND TOWN BE AUTHORIZED TO COLLECT, KEEP, TRANSFER AND SPEND ALL REVENUES RECEIVED IN 2023 AND EACH YEAR THEREAFTER WITHOUT REGARD TO ANY SPENDING, REVENUE, OR OTHER LIMITATION IN ARTICLE X, SECTION 20 OF THE COLORADO CONSTITUTION OR ANY OTHER STATUTORY LAWS OF THE STATE OF COLORADO?

This is a tax that will never end.

I urge you to vote no on Ballot Issue 6E.

“Government is not a solution to our problem government is the problem.” ― Ronald Reagan

Erle Collom

Estes Park

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About Pep Dekekr

Pep loves Estes Park, he lives here with his family and hopes to bring people to Estes Park and Estes Park to the people. Along with his wife Paige, they own EstesPark.com.

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