Ed Miklus: Lacking representation

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Ah yes, the New Year — ring out the old, ring in the new. I’m sure most of the residents of the city of Steamboat Springs realize that we have rung in the New Year with a new addition to our city sales tax: our Local Marketing District quarter-percent increase to help fund the air service program. I’m guessing, however, that a lesser-known fact to residents is that the only folks who can serve on the Local Marketing District Board are the residents of the Local Marketing District.

So let me see ... everyone is taxed but not everyone can be represented on the Local Marketing District Board. Hmm ... reminds me of a group of rowdy Bostonians back in 1773 who were all in a tizzy and started tossing sacks of tea into their harbor; seems they were shouting something about a guy named King George and taxes. I believe there also was a later Boston sermon with a minister preaching a revolutionary idea to his congregation: no taxation without representation. Kind of sounds like we’re in the same boat, so to speak, doesn’t it? And who was the other guy who said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”?

Cup of tea, anyone?

Ed Miklus

Steamboat Springs

Comments

sedgemo 2 years, 6 months ago

County residents weren't even allowed to vote on this tax we all must pay if we shop locally. Is there any way to get this issue to a county-wide vote in Nov.?

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BeCoolHoneyBunny 2 years, 6 months ago

Hey country residents (sedgemo), you are just that, residents of the county, not of Steamboat. You are not forced to spend your money here, it's your choice! By your reasoning, anyone who ever pays sales tax in town should have a vote.

There will never be a county vote for city issues. Either move to town, or don't shop in town, or stop complaining.

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jerry carlton 2 years, 6 months ago

Be cool ---- Tell me who you are and where you work and I promise I will never spend another cent there.

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captnse 2 years, 6 months ago

 As protest I wll never ski or support STEAMBOAT SKI CORPORATION again until tax is repealed.

They get enough of my money thru Their their sleezy tax that I wont pay $100.00 to ski one day. Since SKI CORP. gets our tax dollars why dont they help out locals and give us local discount!!! You will see me at howelson hill, Captn Steve

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sedgemo 2 years, 6 months ago

Be cool, be cool!

Can't afford to move to town and wouldn't ever want to, but don't see any feasible way to avoid buying locally, and have always preferred to support my neighbors anyway. It's a rural thing you might not understand.

This tax affects basic sustenance for the people who live here, and not just townies. I'd rather my limited dollars go to businesses I choose to support, not a tax earmarked for a private corporation with its own interests and agendas. Maybe we could turn this around, and require tourists flying in to shop ONLY at certain stores, which could collect the tax that subsidizes there travels to our community. Or simply not charge it to folks who can prove they reside here year-round. Either approach would be fairer than what exists now.

As a voting resident of Routt County (not just "anyone who ever pays sales tax in town") my tax dollars are already paying for a lot of services.

It's simply not reasonable or responsible - via time, money, environment, or social ethics - to drive to Eagle or Craig to buy groceries. I don't own a McMansion and can't store vast hoards of food, either, so have to shop more frequently.

If we were allowed to vote on this county-wide, and it was approved, so be it. But for now it is nothing but taxation without representation.

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cheesehead 2 years, 6 months ago

The city wanted a sales tax and voted for it. I don't understand the "rural thing" that prefers to support non-rural neighbors that vote in and charge taxes not supported by the " rural thing". I shop in Craig mostly and pay the sales tax. Should I get to vote in Craig?

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Jeff_Kibler 2 years, 6 months ago

One advantage of living in the "county" is how much less you pay in sales taxes when you register your recently purchased new or previously-owned vehicle.

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cheesehead 2 years, 6 months ago

Sedgemo, After reading my post I realized I sound like a bit of a prick....my bad. Ignore the second sentence.

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BeCoolHoneyBunny 2 years, 6 months ago

That's nonsense Sedgemo. At what point do you draw the line who gets a vote in city issues. Steamboat II? Stagecoach? North Routt? The whole county? The whole state.

Remember at least half of sales tax is paid by "visitors." Do we include them in the voting?

You always have a choice, whether it serves you best is another issue.

I voted against the tax by the way.

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spidermite 2 years, 6 months ago

Cheesehead, If you own property or live in Moffat County (Craig) then you should be able to vote there. Honey Bunny, All Routt County voters should be able to vote on Routt County issues. This isn't just a city issue. This tax supports the air service program at the county airport.

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mtroach 2 years, 6 months ago

I would love to see repeal effort started, the facts about this tax were never debated and most of the public supported it without knowing how it would be implemented. I've heard people talk about how once the tax kicked in airfares would be reduced, because the tax was supporting seats. That's plain wrong. Voters were duped and now we all pay. Ski corp would continue to guarantee flights without this tax, no really put up a fight against this tax, where is the Teaparty when you need them.

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BeCoolHoneyBunny 2 years, 6 months ago

Spidermite,

Your backwards logic is wrong. This is a Steamboat Springs issue. The tax is only within city limits. The tax supports the air service run by Steamboat Springs Ski and Resort Company.

Because the flights are at the "county" airport is of no importance relating to this issue. I believe the FAA pays for most of Yampa Valley Regional Airport anyway.

Again, if you live outside of the city you will NEVER get to vote for city issues.

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BeCoolHoneyBunny 2 years, 6 months ago

Lack of intelligence, logic and common sense spidermite.

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BeCoolHoneyBunny 2 years, 6 months ago

As to Ed Miklus's opinion, I don't believe he's correct.

This is how the LMD is involved: (http://www.steamboattoday.com/news/2011/oct/27/jeff-daniels-debunking-opposition/)

"Ski Corp. Director of Airline Programs Janet Fischer builds a menu of potential scheduling scenarios and presents them in detail at a public meeting of the Local Marketing District. Input from LMD board members is solicited, and it’s back to work on refining the scenarios. This process is repeated until a final schedule is agreed upon by the LMD, partner airlines and Ski Corp. This is also the same public process that has taken place for the past six years, and it will continue to function this way into the future. I want to emphasize that LMD meetings are open to the public."

In reality Ski Corp is really the one who develops and implements the program. LMD is the committee that oversees the program and manages the airline fund’s reserves. Steamboat Springs city council oversees the LMD and ultimately distributes the taxes collected.

So ultimately it is city council who controls the money, thus all city residents are represented.

Again, I was and still am against this tax.

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spidermite 2 years, 6 months ago

HoneyBunny, Offended are ya? Not a sign of intelligence. You must be lacking logic and common sense. To bad.

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BeCoolHoneyBunny 2 years, 6 months ago

spider mite,

Way to just repeat what I just said. I am offering evidence and facts to debate your argument, you contribute nothing but emotion. You're silly.

Why would I be offended? Calling my mom names offends me, debating issues does not.

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sedgemo 2 years, 6 months ago

BC, not nonsense at all.

It's an EARMARKED city transaction tax which requires county residents to support non-resident visitors (among others).Today I bought a piece of second hand furniture, groceries, ice melt and coffee in town, and paid this tax on every transaction. The ancient end table I purchased has already been taxed (I'm guessing) at least 50 times since it came off the stump.

Try this one on. Imagine if the only air service and grocery store was in Yampa, and was called Yampa Valley Airport, and though you don't live there or use the service, you'd have to pay a tax on every bag of groceries, bag of dog food or box of kleenex you buy, with that income going directly to the airport kitty. Being the county seat in this scenario, Yampa would also be the home base for a variety of goods and services you need to survive, including a pharmacy or two.

Now imagine you were not allowed to vote up or down on accepting this tax.

It's clearly a pro-visitor/traveler, anti-local tax (other than some hoped-for after effects generous tourists may or may not send your way). We already pay a hefty price to live here, and continue to do so because we care about this place in ways visitors can only sample.

If it's a fair tax, a county-wide vote should support it. I doubt that would happen if a fair vote was allowed. That's all I'm saying. Seems sensible enough to me.

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BeCoolHoneyBunny 2 years, 6 months ago

sedgemo,

As I stated before, I was and am against this tax. I believe it shifts the burden from private to public responsibility for funding the program.

That being said;

This tax requires ALL persons spending money in Steamboat to pay the tax. EVERYONE!! That includes city residents, county residents, state residents, USA residents, north american residents, earth residents, ET residents. Do we include all of these people in the vote? With your reasoning why do we draw the line at route county ?

It's a basic principle of voting. Citizens that are part of the group get to vote. While Steamboat residents are part of Routt and get to vote for county issues, Routt residents are not always part of Steamboat and thus only get to vote on city issues if you live within city limits. Please offer an example of where this happens differently.

I understand the emotional part of your opinion. But rationally it make no sense at all.

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sledneck 2 years, 6 months ago

I am often ammused and disappointed at how we all too often assume life is static when it is, in fact, very dynamic.

Sammy Hagar was right... "There's only one way to ROCK".

But there are several ways to vote... 1. at the polls 2. with your money 3. with your feet 4. with your finger 5. with your acp

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4genlocal 2 years, 6 months ago

I am against this tax but I ask why is this one a problem and the tax for the schools is not? That was a city vote and it goes to all schools in the county. Why isn't it a county tax and collected in Hayden and S Routt also?

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Scott Wedel 2 years, 6 months ago

The sales tax for the educational fund has always been a SB City limits sales tax while the SB school district ranges up to North Routt. It was decided to share the money with Hayden and South Routt to benefit those kids as well and those families also shop in SB.

It was not considered important that they also collect sales tax because the amount collected from Hayden or Oak Creek would be rounding errors compared to what is collected in SB.

It can be argued that the educational fund tax is likely to benefit everyone (educated kids are better for all) while the local marketing tax primarily benefits a far narrower group of SB people.

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sedgemo 2 years, 6 months ago

BC, I get your point but I don't think you get mine. I can't afford to drive 60 miles for groceries and I'm sure I'm not alone. I know plenty who do, though, and that lost revenue hurts our community in many ways. Catch 22.

Wonder what would happen to sales tax revenues in SB if everyone who now shops there but doesn't live in the city limits shopped elsewhere?

Seems our opinions don't matter but our dollars surely do.

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BeCoolHoneyBunny 2 years, 6 months ago

I do get your point sedgemo, it just isn't valid when it comes to voting rights. I understand people outside city limits shop exclusively in Steamboat. But that doesn't make it a valid argument that you should vote in city issues.

Again I ask, how do you choose who votes and who doesn't by your reasoning? Should I get to vote in Denver issues because I often shop there?

Again your choices are:

  1. Move to Steamboat and become a eligible voter.
  2. Shop elsewhere
  3. Stop complaining

As sledneck said above, you have many other symbolic ways to vote. But let's be clear, county residents will NEVER get a vote in city ballot issues!

Seriously, get a clue.

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Jeff_Kibler 2 years, 6 months ago

Roach, I had similar thoughts. As I wondered before, where were the usual suspects? The right-leaning anti-tax crowd said little, while the left-leaning folks did not decry this regressive tax that affects the poorest amongst us.

Don't you think the campaign was the epitome of fear-mongering? I'm with you vis-a-vis a repeal effort.

As far as any expectations that airfares would be reduced, I hadn't heard or even considered that. Interesting take.

It seems like both sides of the political aisle gathered together for a common detriment.

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Kevin Nerney 2 years, 6 months ago

Extend the city boundary, eliminate the county government, everybody votes, and sledneck is happy because of fewer overall number of regs. and gov't employees. Would be simple if there wasn't such an old boy network around here or anywhere for that matter. Gov't just doesn't want to get smaller and more efficient.

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sedgemo 2 years, 6 months ago

BC, I will respectfully disagree with you.

I don't see this as a city issue in this very particular case, and you do. The city depends on our dollars but not our opinions.

Still smells like taxation without representation and I hope one day there will be an opportunity for county-wide input on this issue.

That's all, folks!

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sledneck 2 years, 6 months ago

Where's the smiley-face on this damn keyboard??

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BeCoolHoneyBunny 2 years, 6 months ago

Sedgemo,

Our differences lie in the distincinction between opinion and facts.

It is you OPINION that you think you should get a vote in city elections even though you don't reside within the city.

It is FACT that only residents of Steamboat Springs can vote in city elections. Pure and simple. The city only has jurisdiction to make laws and rules within it's borders and only it's citizens can vote for those.

When it comes to representation and voting, it is a city issue, that is FACT not OPINION.

AGAIN, there will NEVER be a county wide vote on city matters!

I can call the high school and see if you can sit in on a freshman level civics class if you want me to.

By the way, the city depends on everyone's dollars that spend $$ in town, not just yours or mine. I'm sure your OPINION matters, it's just that your voting doesn't.

It's like me saying 2 + 2 = 4 and you saying 2 + 2 should in your opinion = 6.

I still haven't seen you give an example of were your kind of voting happens anywhere else in this country.

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BeCoolHoneyBunny 2 years, 6 months ago

Let's create scenario of the same situation that is outside of our community. Hopefully this will let you separate your emotion from logic.

Let's say we live in Kansas City. If your familiar with this city you'll know that there is both a Kansas City, Kansas and a Kansas City, Missouri. The two cities in two different states are literally separated by one side of the street from the other in some parts of town. Sales taxes and many other laws are different depending what side of the street you are on.

Now let's say I live in the Kansas part. But directly across the street (in Missouri) is a supermarket. The other market is 10 miles from my house, so naturally I always walk across the street to shop. Now even though it is directly across the street from me, it is in a different city and state, governed by different laws, ect.. Because I shop there and it is right across the street, does that mean I should have the right to vote on issues and laws for Kansas City, Missouri? NO it doesn't. Instead, it's residency that determines where I get to vote. To my knowledge where you shop has never determined for what elections you get to vote in.

Does this make any sense to you?

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BeCoolHoneyBunny 2 years, 6 months ago

And to those who say democracy is a good thing I bid adieu.

"philosophers [must] become kings…or those now called kings [must]…genuinely and adequately philosophize" (The Republic, 5.473d).

http://articles.cnn.com/2011-04-12/opinion/granderson.ignorant.vote_1_ignorant-voters-political-system-ignorant-people?_s=PM:OPINION

http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/politics/article/972104

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spidermite 2 years, 6 months ago

bchb, Your comment wouldn't make sense to anyone. How can you compare two cities in different states as the base of your argument? Your silly.

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trump_suit 2 years, 6 months ago

Actually Spider, BC makes her point quite well here. You want to vote in a City election when you are not a resident of that city. Regardless of your location and other shopping options, the fact you are not a Steamboat resident means you do not get to vote on their agenda.

If you do not like that then either move further away where you have other shopping opportunities, or move into the City limits so you can participate in their votes.

For the Record, I do not live in Steamboat either and although I do not like this tax and would have voted against it my choices are to pay the City sales tax or shop elsewhere. You have the same choices, its not like you are forced to spend your dollars in Steamboat Springs. I am absolutely sure that stores located elsewhere would be happy to sell you the items you require.

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spidermite 2 years, 6 months ago

trump, My point was that comparing two cities in two different states isn't comparable to our situation. I've been in this valley for over thirty six years and if I don't like it I will not move. I will voice my opinion.

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trump_suit 2 years, 6 months ago

Kansas City, Ks and several other cities are separated by a road. Sometimes a small neighborhood road, sometimes a 5 lane business road, now and then it is the back yard fence between neighbors. In many cases the closest shopping might be the store across the street. You have absolutely no say so about what they might do in your backyard or directly across the street..

This comparison directly relates to your assertion that you are being taxed without representation and/or unfairly.

I completely support your right to express your opinion.

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mtroach 2 years, 6 months ago

Trump, I live in town, and pay this tax. I voted against it because i didnt understand why my tax dollars were needed to pay for a program that ski corp started, funded and would still fund without this new tax. I would like to know who I can talk to about how this tax is spent. Please tell me who my elected representative is that has power over spending these public tax dollars....you know my elected representative for this taxation. Because frankly I don't understand how the public can influence the decisions about spending these funds,nor who to complain about or vote out if this funding program fails to bring in the thousands of tourists the pro-air tax proponents claimed it would.

Spider, the best way to voice your opinion is to take your business elsewhere. It may be harder but in this world of the Internet, and global shippers, there isn't much that you need to come to steamboat for. Or push for a countywide vote and recall.

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Scott Wedel 2 years, 6 months ago

It is a curious assertion that a person has a right to vote on every tax which they might pay. SB is said to have about half of properties owned by people outside of the county and so all those people pay property taxes without having a vote.

The more reasonable standard is whether those living in the taxing district got to vote on the tax and whether it is possible for others to avoid paying the tax.

A major reason there is little alternative in paying for SB's sales tax is that it is not much higher than the alternatives. So there is virtually no incentive to do anything to avoid paying the SB sales tax. And certainly not enough to inspire Walmart, City Market, Safeway and so on to close SB stores and relocate where taxes are lower.

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BeCoolHoneyBunny 2 years, 6 months ago

spidermite,

you say you have lived in the Yampa Valley for 36 years. How many times have you voted in a city election when you didn't live in town?

Why would this issue be any different?

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BeCoolHoneyBunny 2 years, 6 months ago

mtroach, here is your answer. I posted this already, but here it is again.

This is how the LMD is involved: (http://www.steamboattoday.com/news/20...)

"Ski Corp. Director of Airline Programs Janet Fischer builds a menu of potential scheduling scenarios and presents them in detail at a public meeting of the Local Marketing District. Input from LMD board members is solicited, and it’s back to work on refining the scenarios. This process is repeated until a final schedule is agreed upon by the LMD, partner airlines and Ski Corp. This is also the same public process that has taken place for the past six years, and it will continue to function this way into the future. I want to emphasize that LMD meetings are open to the public."

In reality Ski Corp is really the one who develops and implements the program. LMD is the committee that oversees the program and manages the airline fund’s reserves. Steamboat Springs city council oversees the LMD and ultimately distributes the taxes collected.

So ultimately it is city council who controls the money, thus all city residents are represented.

Again, I was and still am against this tax.

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spidermite 2 years, 6 months ago

bchb, In answer to your first question multiple times. That's where I was registered to vote. Your second question doesn't require an answer.

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ybul 2 years, 6 months ago

The whole point of the article was about how there is no representation from residents of the city living outside the LMD. So they voted on the tax but have no right to speak up about it.

The comments about the airlines not being candy stores and can not pick and choose their flights is also failure of those within the LMD to research other options and make the air service more like a candy store. THey should be looking into charter flights there are several charter air providers with rather large jets.

Personally it is ski corp simply being lazy and getting someone else to pay so they do not need to think at how to operate better. If they did research charter flights then they would be able to provide air service out of regional airports and provide passengers a better experience.

If you are going to raise the sales tax in town then you ought to tax lift tickets also.

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BeCoolHoneyBunny 2 years, 6 months ago

spidermite,

you make NO sense at all.

Are you an adult? Is this some child just messing with me? Come on, stop playing with the computer, it's time for bed.

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BeCoolHoneyBunny 2 years, 6 months ago

Ybul,

I believe there is representation for those who live outside the LMD but are city residents. City council is the representation, they collect and distribute the sales tax. They give the LMD and Ski Corps the ability to decide on HOW to spend it. In reality, this is how a lot of the sales tax is distributed and spent, just with different organizations.

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BeCoolHoneyBunny 2 years, 6 months ago

But I do see your point. You normally would have the ability to sit on most if not all the committees that decide how to spend city tax dollars. But you can only sit on the LMD committee if you live within it's boundaries. Interesting. I'm trying to think of something else that works in this way.

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BeCoolHoneyBunny 2 years, 6 months ago

The Steamboat Springs Local Marketing District (LMD) is a discretely presented component unit whose board members may be appointed or removed by the City Council. The LMD collects dedicated funds from accommodations taxes, and from a .25% sales tax approved by voters in November 2011 and which goes into effect in January 2012. The LMD contracts with the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation to cost share and manage the airline seat guarantee program and related marketing to increase winter tourist commercial air access to Steamboat Springs.

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BeCoolHoneyBunny 2 years, 6 months ago

City Council has oversight of the LMD budget and also has the authority to dissolve the LMD.17

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ybul 2 years, 6 months ago

Sure but sometimes it is good to have an outsiders opinion on any board to pull out the BS card.

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spidermite 2 years, 6 months ago

bchb, Something is wrong with ya. You asked me a question - I gave you an answer. Slow down, be cool.

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pitpoodle 2 years, 6 months ago

Fact is, City Council and the SkiCorp knew the tax would never pass in the county, therefore, it was decided that only city residents would be allowed to vote. Consider the small businesses within the city who sell products, collect sales tax but receive little benefit and have no vote, if their residence is in the county. With buy local slogans in every edition of the paper, one would think buying local is actually an important part of city taxation success. What we see is a council intent on raising taxes to the point that people buy their large purchases out of town damaging the success of people who do business here. Well, except for the one big business that will profit from the public's taxation. Now that to me, defies logic.

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BeCoolHoneyBunny 2 years, 6 months ago

Pitpoodle,

Fact is, your opinion is not a fact at all. For the last time. COUNTY RESIDENTS WHO ARE NOT CITY RESIDENTS CAN'T AND WILL NEVER VOTE FOR CITY ISSUES.

This is not something that is up for debate.

People who don't even know how voting works shouldn't be allowed to vote!

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pitpoodle 2 years, 6 months ago

My opinion is my opinion. What I am trying to get across is that the tax is unfair to all those who are now forced to pay the tax for a private company. And that it could have been avoided by allowing all in the county to vote or for council to say it would not be considered for a vote in SBS. "People who don't even know how voting works shouldn't be allowed to vote"? Is that your opinion or is that a fact too? Maybe only your opinion should be a fact.

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SMRFF 2 years, 6 months ago

BCHP - Have you not learned that injecting facts, common sense and logic into the debates on these articles is frowned upon? It's really a buzz kill for those who have opinions that are at odds with reality.

While your efforts are appreciated as it is quite refreshing to see someone actually supporting an argument with facts, I think much, if not all, of what you're saying is falling on deaf ears.

Some members of society choose to bury their heads in the sand when facts get in the way of their opinions/agenda because God forbid someone swallows his/her pride and changes his/her stance on an issue.

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spidermite 2 years, 6 months ago

SMRFF, That's your opinion. You have a right to your opinion. Myself , I agree with Pit's opinion. That's my right.

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SMRFF 2 years, 6 months ago

Spider - What? It's my opinion that BCHB is injecting facts, logic and common sense into this debate? No, that's not my opinion, it is a fact. It's a fact that she is using facts to support her arguments. It's a fact that some members of society won't change their viewpoints no matter how many facts are presented to the contrary.

It is my OPINION that BCHB's use of facts is refreshing. Others may not see it that way.

It is not a fact that members of society actually have their heads buried in the sand. I simply used this as a figure of speech. While some members of society may actually have their heads buried in sand, I am unable to substantiate this. I hope this was already clear to you.

I don't know why people keep giving BCHB grief about the fact that only city residents are allowed to vote on the tax. It's not anyone's opinion that only city residents can vote on the tax, it's a matter of fact. You not liking this policy is an opinion.

I don't know how else to explain it.

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pitpoodle 2 years, 6 months ago

Oh, for Pete's sake. We all know only city residents can vote on a city tax. Give it up. The point is, there should have not been a vote on this issue at all when so many residents must shop in SBS. There is no question this is taxation without representation. City council does not represent county residents, yet they were responsible for imposing a tax on them to benefit a private corporation. Yeah, I know the people voted but council was wrong to allow it on the ballot. County residents had no vote or say. I don't know how else to explain it, either.

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SMRFF 2 years, 6 months ago

Back to BeCoolHoneyBunny's point - Based on much of the logic in this comment section, anyone who spends money in the City of Steamboat Springs should have a vote. That might be hard to coordinate, but that's just my opinion.

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SMRFF 2 years, 6 months ago

This debate is kind of boring, if you ask me. Someone needs to write another MMJ editorial to rekindle intense, emotional, sensical and non-sensical argument.

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BeCoolHoneyBunny 2 years, 6 months ago

pitpoodle,

your statements are so contradictory and irrational that I can't even continue with this.

SMRFF, thank you for bringing me back from the edge.

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spidermite 2 years, 6 months ago

bchb, You are too funny.... "thank you for bringing me back from the edge."

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pitpoodle 2 years, 6 months ago

Hey, Honey, if you are so anxious to defend this tax, maybe you'd like to pay my share. Or, go over the edge and spare the rest of us.

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