John Ross: Urban renewal |

John Ross: Urban renewal

It sounds like some members of the City Council are about to rush through an ordinance for an urban renewal authority at the Steamboat Ski Area.

In my opinion, this is taxation without taxpayer approval, even though the state of Colorado has passed a law permitting such a URA. The tax dollars that this URA would take away from the Steamboat Springs School District would be significant in its budget. The Steamboat residents most affected by this tax revenue reduction will be the parents and their children attending Steamboat’s schools, and the Steamboat School District taxpayers who would have to make up this school tax revenue reduction. Yet it sounds like you are going to ignore a major effect on Steamboat’s residents without letting them vote on the issue.

Previous City Councils tried the DDA and the 3-2-1 tax proposals, and the voters soundly defeated them. But now it appears that you are poised to go behind the voters’ backs with this URA proposal.

I urge you to not pass such an ordinance. It clearly is not in the best interest of the whole community and clearly Steamboat’s schoolchildren would suffer the most from it.

After 27 successful years as a Steamboat real estate broker, I recognize the overwhelming importance of the Steamboat Ski Area to our economy and community stability. It is literally the rock on which the community’s current success is based. But there have to be other ways to finance these improvements that don’t have such a negative effect on the real future of Steamboat-area schoolchildren.

You certainly could have used the $100,000 you approved for artificial turf at an essentially private school located outside Steamboat for renewals at the base area, or is this $100,000 really for Triple Crown athletes and you value them more than Steamboat’s schoolchildren?

John Ross

Steamboat Springs

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