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Building the new church for Easter Sunday service attendance....
Huh... It is quite the interesting choice of verbiage in the line “About 11% more on your total property taxes...” - how convenient that the authors of the letter breezed right over the 46% tax increase on businesses/commercial property taxes.
Must have “run out of room” to include that nasty little inconvenient truth. This plan is a plan that, if approved, WILL cause businesses to close their doors and locals to lose their jobs. This plan demands that businesses pay a massively disproportionate share than the homeowners. If this flawed plan passes, understand that the landscape of our local economy will most certainly change. The cost of this measure will be significantly higher to our community than just that of the property tax increase on homes - the price of everything in town, from a loaf of bread to a pair of shoes, from a cheeseburger to T-shirt is going to rise. Businesses will be forced to either eat the cost of the tax increase or pass the costs on to their customers. This is simple economics folks.
How strange the irony that our school board adamantly and vehemently opposed the use of TIF, BID, URA (and any other three letter acronyms you can think of for funding mechanisms) to improve the quality, safety, and functionality of our downtown business corridor that all the while would have increased the value of our properties, and thus their own tax base and subsequent funding - this is a truly special kind of lunacy - and THEN they have the audacity to come before the local business community and attempt to shove a measure down our throats that will make our taxes go up 3.7 times higher (thanks to Gallagher Amendment).
Step 1. VOTE NO ON 3A and 3B.
Step 2. Tell your state legislator to push for a revision of the State constitution that removes the Gallagher amendment and the harmful elements of TABOR.
Step 3. Rewrite the bond to give our community the schools it needs and deserves, while including local business leaders in the discussion to ensure a safe and responsible plan that passes with flying colors.
With total respect to the Pamela Lane neighborhood (who couldn’t understand their position?) and the Botanic Garden (an amazing amenity to the community, no question)… I truly cannot wait to hear everyone’s solutions for how we, as a community, return the 500k in sales tax collections to the city budget.
How do we replace the 200+ jobs that TC Sports' economic impact creates in our valley?
How do we replace the 6 million they spend in our valley on an annual basis? Everyone in town seems to have the answers - I’d love to open that dialogue and move towards a solution to those questions - now that we have told TC Sports to “kick rocks”
Mark my words - they are gone. GONE to another mountain community that actually wants them there, the second they’re contract expires we are going to see nothing but taillights going over the pass…
VOTE YES…. Unless anyone out there has a plan that will bring 6+ million dollars of economic impact and to the Yampa Valley after TC Sports packs up and tells us where to stick it.
Your plan must also outline how town/the greater ‘Valley area’ is expected to keep the hundreds of jobs that TC Sports and the other numerous soccer and lacrosse events that support/create those jobs within our community, without bringing in at least one new economic driver.
This really IS quite simple. A ‘NO’ vote on this matter will mean the loss of hundreds of jobs AND over a half a million dollars in sales tax collections - you know, the thing that pays for all of the wonderful amenities that we are so privileged to enjoy in our lovely little community… that some in this community don’t want to share with anyone else.
The mentality here seems to be “Close the gate when you come over Rabbit Ears…"
Allow dogs and you’ll be able to get well-above market price… There is nowhere in town that allows dogs, and yet - everyone up here seems to have a dog.
Part 3 of 3
I do not, and can not, agree with the notion that Steamboat is "blighted" - but all of you that read and comment on this stuff must understand that it is merely a requisite term, necessary to enact a URA, or a BID, etc... However, for the sake of discussion - (and while I completely agree that the whole 'blighted' designation is completely ridiculous...) Can any of you all truly argue that we do not need at least some basic infrastructure improvements necessary to make our downtown ADA compliant and up to the standards in the uniform municipal code?? I'm not saying, nor have I ever said, that the URA is a perfect solution to this quandary - but we HAVE to do something. Other attempts have failed and no the time has run out - So what are we to do?? Sidewalks on Yampa and Oak are not too much to ask for, curbs and crosswalks? How about handicap accessible walkways, basic parking delineation, a public restroom here or there? Maybe a few simple street lights, possibly a bike rack or some landscaping to beautify our beloved downtown? Are these very basic improvements really too much to ask our city council for?!?
We have tried to pass a BID, TIF, URA, and I'm sure even a few other three letter acronyms out there that I am forgetting about by this stage in the process...and, still, nothing has been accomplished. Our town council's collective ineptitude and unwillingness to stand up and put their name on something and risk being held accountable for actually getting something, anything, done - for how many years now, has led us all to this point. These improvements and updates are not going to be getting any cheaper in the years to come, and they have been put off for how many years now?! This council, and numerous councils before them, have just "kicked the proverbial can" down the road and "punted" the difficult agenda items on to the next council, hanging them out to dry, and left them "holding the bag" for stuff that we as a community can no longer afford to delay. We as a community have been talking about these exact same improvements for literally 30 years. There have been four comprehensive studies performed and numerous consultants and "experts" hired, at a very great cost of tax payer dollars, to tell us exact what and how to do these things - and still here we are...with those studies and reports sitting on a shelf down at the planning department collecting dust on some shelf right now.
SO, all I am saying/asking/begging for is for us to let level heads' prevail and let's all figure out a solution that gets Steamboat up to the same code and level as our competition out there in the other mountain towns and transform our downtown into the little gem that we all know it is, and truly deserves to be... without doing any harm to the schools, taxpayers OR our locally owned businesses.
[RANT OVER - Sorry so long!]
Part 2 of 3
However I don't see how ANY of you can argue that we don't need to "fix" downtown. If you think we don't have major infrastructure improvements that need implemented, think agin! If we don't improve our downtown infrastructure, we will begin losing everything that is special and unique about 'The Boat' to other mountain towns that are surpassing us out in the tourist marketplace. Before you go on and lecture me about "being a local" or try to claim that "we don't need tourists in Steamboat" - just stop. Our community, and thereby our entire local economy, are 100% dependent on the tourist $$$ that is poured into our city to make it the place we all love and want to raise our families, etc... Failure to compete with Breckenridge, Vail, Grand Junction (in the summer), Park City/Salt Lake, Aspen, etc is, and will be, detrimental to our collective way of life if we do not act soon! That is not good for you, me, or our neighbors and friends... Remember - Sales tax collections drive this whole boat! (pardon the obvious pun, I couldn't resist!)
Hello Everyone - This is part 1 of 3
I sincerely hope that you all understand just what exactly is at stake with this issue and don't just take up the opposition's side (depending which side you're on) for all of this, without doing some research into the truth on your own... Both sides of this argument are very much misrepresenting the truth to the masses here. The "facts" being strewn about by both sides of this are simply not entirely accurate. Both sides of this argument have some pros and some cons. THAT is a fact. There is no more truth in the discussion (from either side) that the URA is not, will not, does not "Steal" or "Rob" from the schools!! Period. Fact. But if you listen to one side of this debate - its being presented as though the downtown business owners and city council will be going out to the schools and quite literally taking the food right out of our children's collective mouths and that our children will have to read by candlelight and will only have one ball amongst grades K-12 to share on the playground... its simply absurd. The same way that if you listen to the "other side" of the debate - downtown is in total shambles and is in complete decay...that nobody will ever want to come visit Steamboat ever again and any/all development potential that exists downtown will never be capitalized upon due to the blight that we face...So many people will probably stop coming to Steamboat that 100's of jobs will be lost and we will wither up and become a ghost town.
Neither of these scenarios are true, obviously. They are simply scare tactics, being used by both sides here, that are meant to drum up fear and breed contempt amongst us all. Its as though a D.C. playbook on elections is being used in our small town politics and enough IS enough, if you ask me!
To Scott B and Scott W:
I get it… I understand you guys are against anything and everything that is put forth to enhance or improve our amazing community that relies on tax dollars to fund it…that is fine, that is your choice. Your understanding of these funding vehicles (i.e: TIF, URA, BID) are admittedly WAY above what my understanding will EVER be of these topics.
SO, that said - Can you honestly argue that Yampa and Oak Streets do NOT need, at the very least, new/better sidewalks and basic public accommodation improvements? None of us are asking the city or the taxpayers to fund lavish or extravagant improvements down here - just basic, good-quality infrastructure improvements to continue to better our downtown. Is downtown NOT the highest concentration of tax-collecting/tax-paying businesses in Steamboat? Do we not collectively contribute more to this community, local economy, job market, etc than any other area in town by far? This ‘NIMBY' mentality has to stop if we are going to advance our community forward and be competitive with the other ski markets! Scott W, I’m told doesn’t even live in town for Pete’s sake! Yet always has the most to say-doesn’t make sense to me!
How you guys can sit there bashing everything that comes our way to make this community better and even more of an amazing place to live, all while attracting even more vitally important tourists (who pay a lot of sales tax) to our amazing community, is beyond me. Please remember that without our tourists, half of what we love and enjoy about this valley would cease to exist in an instant… Maybe if you guys had "some skin in the game” and had made the kind of financial investment that those of us (and many more) that are on that letter have made, took the risk and made the sacrifices, you too would understand where we are coming from… We have put up our end of the pie - the city needs to put up theirs. Sidewalks and basic improvements are not too much to ask and should not be 100% our responsibility.
You’ve been against every single thing that has been suggested - so what would reasonable solution would either of you put forward to ‘fix’ the problem and fund these improvements??
So instead of being part of the problem of why nothing ever seems to get done around here(except for expensive studies that get sat on a shelf somewhere in city hall), how about suggesting something we can do to make both sides happy!? Nobody wants the schools to lose out on funding here - but, nobody wants busted up sidewalks and poor public accommodation for our locals and visitors alike... So what can we do? You guys are the smartest guys on these forums, yet never offer up anything insightful or progressive that would be a solution to the matters at hand…
So please - you two clearly understand this stuff way better than most - so step up and LEAD instead of whining and doing nothing behind the safety of your keyboards.
^ Are you actually serious??
For you to say that our community is "safe, affluent, and remote” implies that you believe we need only a police force similar to that of say, Mayberry… and while it is true that Andy and Barney did do a nice job protecting Mayberry, Steamboat Springs (though contrary to some locals’ belief) is NOT Mayberry. Your mockery of the job that our boy’s in “silly blue costumes” perform on a daily basis is offensive and off-base. For you to spout such ignorance is further proof that you couldn’t even carry their gun belts, let alone do the thankless jobs that they dutifully perform on a dilly basis. Did you ever stop to think that maybe the reason we are lucky enough to have a such “safe and affluent” community is due to the very fact that they defend and protect it?
You clearly either don’t live here on a year-round basis or have sheltered yourself into thinking that no crime exists in our beloved community. Have you not read the blotter? Have you not walked the downtown streets past midnight? What, if anything, do you know about the influx of terrible, life-threatening drugs that have infiltrated our town and it’s schools? It is ludicrous and absurd to suggest that we need a smaller police force. Equally, do you understand that the Sheriff and the Chief of Police are two different jobs (one elected/one not), two different entities (city vs county), completely separate forces?
Chief Rae, I assure you, is only doing what he feels best serves our community for the long-term. He is doing his job. You do not have to agree with him or what he perceives as necessary for functionality of our police force - but you must respect the position he has and the job he is tasked with. Residents of this town can’t agree on what time it is, let alone important issues like building a new police station, but take one look at our existing facilities and you will be unable to argue that we do not need some type of significant improvement over the next decade or so, as it ushers in a new generation of Steamboat as we know it today. All I’m saying is "show some respect.”
Also, Scott Wedel IS always very well researched and fact-based in his approach, whether I agree with him or not, you have have to respect the time and research he puts into his posts. Just like you should. (and if you would like to ‘hear more from him’ just read the online edition of the paper on a daily basis - he’s in the comment section below every article.)
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