Letter: Short-term rentals should be taxed

It will be difficult to support property tax-funded employee housing solutions if local elected officials continue down their current path.

In both a recent poll effort, and in last week’s Sky-High News, it has been represented we cannot tax short-term rentals. This is misleading, all local political jurisdictions can place fees on short-term rentals.

If a property owner can make more from short-term rentals than from renting full time, we will see investors continue to remove homes from the housing pool. Economic modeling can determine the level of fees needed to remove this incentive. Fees can also level the playing field for commercial lodging owners who are subject to higher property taxes.

It has also been said placing housing fees on new construction is too heavy a lift. New development must be required to pay to help house the employees needed for these projects. Many say this horse has left the barn. New horses need a new barn.

Finally, taxpayers deserve to know where commissioner candidates Steve Skinner and recently “anointed” candidate/commissioner Randy George stand on using lodging taxes and these other fees to help fund housing. We cannot host new visitors until we can take care of the ones already coming here.

Voters should expect Skinner be asked to respond when George is quoted as extensively in the News as he was last week.

If local taxpayers are asked to fund employee housing from our hard-earned property tax dollars, elected officials must fund this effort from all suitable wells. Perhaps the ballot issue can include all these questions.
It must remain affordable for both new and existing residents to live in our community.

Andy Miller

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