Letter: Short-term rentals should be taxed

It will be difficult to support employee housing solutions financed by the property tax if local elected officials continue on their current path.

In a recent poll and in last week’s Sky-High News it was represented that we cannot ‘tax’ short term rentals. This is misleading, all local political jurisdictions may impose charges on short term rentals.

If a landlord can earn more from short-term rentals than full-time rentals, we’ll see investors continue to pull houses out of the housing stock. Economic modeling can determine the level of fees needed to remove this incentive. Fees can also level the playing field for commercial homeowners who are subject to higher property taxes.

It has also been said that placing housing charges on new construction is too heavy a lift. New developments must be required to pay to help house the employees needed for these projects. Many say this horse left the barn. New horses need a new stable.

Finally, taxpayers deserve to know what the position of Commissioner nominee Steve Skinner and recently “anointed” nominee/commissioner Randy George is on the use of lodging taxes and these other fees to help fund housing. We cannot welcome new visitors until we can take care of those who are already coming here.

Voters should expect Skinner to be asked to respond when George is quoted as extensively in the News as he was last week.

If local taxpayers are asked to fund employee housing from our hard-earned property taxes, elected officials must fund this effort from all appropriate wells. Perhaps the ballot question can include all of these questions.
It must remain affordable for new and existing residents to live in our community.

Andy MillerFraser

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