The chairman of the Friends of Affordable Housing committee, Dave McDonald, is cutting back on the time and money he is spending in support of Referendum 2A, the excise tax for affordable housing. But, his comrades in the cause say, that doesn't mean he doesn't believe in taxing new construction to help pay for affordable housing.
"He's just over-committed," said Rob Dick, president of the Regional Affordable Living Foundation (RALF). "He told me he just isn't going to be spending as much time or as much money as he thought he would."
McDonald, a local developer of luxury homes, is heading up an effort to get an excise tax passed this November. The excise tax, first proposed by RALF, would be put on most new construction for the next 30 years. According to the ballot initiative, the revenue would subsidize affordable housing.
Dick and other supporters of the excise tax say McDonald's retreat does not reflect his commitment to Referendum 2A.
"He's still strongly committed to the issues," said Kathy Meyer, treasurer of Friends of Affordable Housing.
Some supporters of the excise tax had been under the impression that McDonald had resigned his position. Opponents of the excise tax hoped McDonald might have lost his enthusiasm for the proposed tax.
"If you don't have time or money, how committed are you?" asked Jim Gill, a member of the "No on #2A" committee. "The 'No on 2a' people are committed to the point we're spending our time and money."
But McDonald quickly put an end to any thought he was withdrawing his support of Referendum 2A. He also said he hasn't resigned from the Friends of Affordable Housing.
"There isn't anything there," McDonald said.
While McDonald has not attended recent meetings of the Friends of Affordable Housing, he did participate in a debate last week on the excise tax. He also said he will speak at the Steamboat Springs Rotary Club meeting today.
"We'll try to keep him involved," said RALF Board member Ellen Hoj.
"He's just not going to contribute as much money as he thought he would," Dick said.
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