Ken Brenner: Backing a tax policy commission

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The Nov. 13 commentary written by Sandy Evans Hall inferred that I advocate a property tax. This is incorrect. It is the past Steamboat Springs City Council that on two consecutive years proposed a property tax.

What I have proposed is a tax policy commission that would engage the community to give City Council direction on how to address its funding needs in the future.

Community members with City Council and staff support will investigate whether an overall tax policy change is necessary. I hope support of this commission will be forthcoming from leaders in the community, including the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association.

Possible topics for the commission might include a balance of property taxes and sales taxes or perhaps a lodging tax might make sense for some of the city's programs. I will look forward to the direction that council will receive and will value the participation of residents and the business community.

Of course, any discussion of future tax strategy must include a thorough review of the city budget and must include an appropriate public process. I have consistently stated that a reprioritization of expenditures should take place with highest priority given to essential government services such as water and sewer, police, fire, road maintenance, snow plowing and key administrative services.

I encourage members of the community to voice their support of this important tax policy commission.

Ken Brenner

Steamboat Springs

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