Letter: Seitz, Miller are right on workforce housing survey | SkyHiNews.com

Letter: Seitz, Miller are right on workforce housing survey

I agree with Tim Seitz and Andy Miller regarding the workforce housing survey (July 27, letters to the editor). Tim Steitz is correct, the survey was biased and asked leading questions to get the desired result. Andy Miller is also correct, the Housing Authority has not adequately considered the alternatives to fees or taxes on lodging rentals. We need a mechanism for funding workforce housing that works for the residents of Grand County. However, making housing even more expensive for residents and seasonal workers by increasing property taxes is not a solution that works for Grand County residents and I will vote NO on such a measure. It’s not that the people of Grand County aren’t generous. In 2020 and 2021 we passed property tax increases to support EMS services (1.75 mill levy); West Grand Fire (brought total mill levies to 10); and teacher pay and school facility upgrades (2021 West Grand School District 4.5 mills, 2020 East Grand School District $1 million mill levy increase). Moreover, due to price pressure for housing created by second home owners and investors, housing valuations have skyrocketed further increasing the amount of tax dollars Grand County residents pay.

I think workforce housing should be funded by an increase in the lodging tax. Compared to other resort areas, our lodging tax is ridiculously low. It’s perfectly reasonable to ask guests to help pay for the amenities they enjoy (which, arguably, include service workers trying to live here) when they visit our beautiful county. The Housing Authority needs to do the work to inform and convince voters in all districts to vote for an increase in the lodging tax to fund workforce housing.

Linda Behlen, Winter Park

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