In this climate of fiscal responsibility, I find it very curious how taxpayers are being asked to pay for empty seats. The Referendum 2B to require a taxpayer-backed system to pay airlines for unfilled seats doesn’t make sense for our cash-strapped locals. Sure, we would like to see a successful ski season, which highly depends on visitors arriving by airlines, but this program directly helps the resort and businesses, not the individual taxpayer.
It may be the standard to offer a subsidy to airlines to come to resort communities, but for the tax base to be stretched to pay for any empty seats is just wrong, in my view. What message does this send to the airlines? Why would they need to market Steamboat Springs over another community? They have no reason to advertise as the flights would be “virtually” full, having got their check already.
And if the tax base is asked to write a check to the airlines, how about a clause that allows locals to fill empty seats on a stand-by basis. Wouldn’t that be fair? After all, we would have already paid for those empty seats. Or are we being taxed to be paying something for nothing?