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The significant economic returns to our community of supporting Referendum 2B (0.25 percent sales tax support for the direct flight air service into Hayden) have been presented and detailed at length in various venues around town in recent weeks, including on these editorial pages. The many arguments in favor of this referendum are compelling and suggest that our sales tax-, vacation-based economy is truly dependent on high-quality, reliable and direct air service if we are to compete effectively in the future with other world-class ski communities.
One element of this new 0.25 percent sales tax that has not been discussed in any detail is the positive impact that a growing city of Steamboat Springs sales tax base would have on the Steamboat Springs Education Fund. The funds from Referendum 2B would provide for additional airline seats into Hayden, which would bring more winter visitors to town, which would generate more local spending, which would produce more city of Steamboat Springs sales tax revenues. The Steamboat Springs Education Fund receives half a percent of these city sales tax revenues.
Unlike other taxing alternatives to support local education, the proceeds from the Steamboat Springs Education Fund half-cent sales tax all remain in our community to enhance education for our local students. With the recent community support for sharing a portion of the Education Fund resources with the Hayden and South Routt school districts, it has become even more important that the city of Steamboat Springs sales tax base, which is the only source of income for the Education Fund, remains very strong.
A “yes” vote on Referendum 2B will help to assure this future strength.