Letter: 2A is fair
October 16, 2018
We as members of the Steamboat Springs lodging community are writing in support of Referendum 2A.
The air program is the fuel that feeds our engines and allows us to sustainably collect and remit sales and accommodations taxes. These taxes support essential city services that would otherwise be paid by residents and have built amenities that are enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.
This 0.2 percent increase in sales tax benefits many business sectors including restaurant, retail, real estate and health services, which are not specifically targeted to help support the program. A small tax paid through all those who benefit is a fair way to help fund a program.
We support this additional tax even though lodging is a heavily sales-taxed local business sector. Currently, our guests pay city sales tax of 4.5 percent — the 2 percent LMD tax, plus the 1 percent accommodations tax to build local amenities like the Haymaker golf course, the tennis facility and bike and hiking trails in addition to state and county taxes. Although these taxes in total have suppressed potential rate growth and profit, we clearly understand the vital nature of air access and thus stand firmly behind this plan that fairly spreads the required investment.
The Steamboat Springs lodging community is proud to be a major contributor to the local economy. We helped create the air program, as well as the accommodations tax for amenities, which have contributed to a healthier year-round economy.
Collectively, we spend millions of dollars attracting people to our destination. We provide year-round and seasonal employment to hundreds of community members who are dependent upon people staying in our lodges.
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We hire local contractors to work at the properties from electricians, painters, HVAC, snow removal, etc. Every one of them benefits from having people visit our community. We recommend the services and products of our neighbors to thousands of guests every month. We care about our community and support many nonprofit agencies both financially and through countless hours of volunteer work by our employees.
The airline program is truly an economic driver that impacts every resident of the community. We will continue to do our part to help our community thrive and urge you to do your part by voting “yes” on 2A to help keep our economy strong.
Larry Mashaw, Resort Group; Blair McNamara, Resort Lodging Company; Todd Siefken, Steamboat Resorts; Mike Lomas, The Steamboat Grand; Dan Pirrallo, The Sheraton Steamboat Resort & Villas: Robin and Heather Craigen, Moving Mountains; Scott Marr, Steamboat Springs Holiday Inn; and Greg Koehler, Rabbit Ears Motel