Steamboat Springs Advocates for a permanent funding source for affordable housing and child care believe they have enough time to garner support to pass a taxing question this November.
Residents at Friday's Economic Summit considered an impact fee, a sales tax, a property tax, a head tax and building permit fees as potential funding sources for affordable housing and child care. A consensus of the group of approximately 60 was that an impact fee on new construction is part of the solution, although several people agreed that it will probably take more than one funding source.
The impact fee, as conceptually proposed, would levy an undetermined dollar amount on new construction, both residential and commercial. The money generated from the tax would go to RALF, the Regional Affordable Living Foundation, to buy land for housing and to First Impressions of Routt County to subsidize the cost of child care.
Another funding idea discussed was taking advantage of Gov. Owens' recent sales tax cut by instituting a local sales tax in the same amount. Another idea was to increase the building permit fees on large, trophy homes and redirect that revenue to affordable housing and child care. A $4-a-month head tax on workers and their employers also was discussed, as was a county-wide property tax increase.
RALF Executive Director Rob Dick said a ballot issue could be passed if enough people support it and help educate others. The timing will be tight, though. The group members would need to notify election officials by June 30 of their intent to put a question on the ballot. They would have to nail down the language for that question in September.
Before then, the group needs to research which tax or combination of funding sources is most likely to please the most people.
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