Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Steamboat Springs It has come to my attention that the City Council recently has discussed the underpayment of city sales and use tax by developers and builders. I understand this may amount to more than $5 millions of revenue the city has failed to collect. I also understand the recent city manager was trying to audit and understand this problem when he was fired.
An ordinance, which passed first reading, reportedly tries to sweep this all under the rug by exonerating all unpaid fees, including those for buildings not yet finished, from the provisions of a city ordinance that has been on the books for many years.
Ask yourself the question, "What would be the result if a retailer was found to have under-collected and under-paid state sales tax?" I think the answer would be restitution or criminal charges. How is this different?
As far as I am aware, the Pilot & Today has failed to make the public aware that it has lost $5 million. Is this some kind of conspiracy of silence? Are the council and the newspaper serving all the citizens of this city or only a select few? The newspaper could now make amends by doing and publishing a thorough investigation. The council could make amends by giving its unstinted support to the investigation.