Letter: Recall council to give non-resident property owners a say | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: Recall council to give non-resident property owners a say

The Steamboat Springs City Council censored one of its members at last week’s work session solely because this member spoke out for the interests of the non-voting, tax-paying property owners in Steamboat. The council has again made it clear that it is at war with the tourist industry. This council is obsessed with raising taxes on non-voters and ensuring that non-voting property owners have no voice in the community. This meeting could have taken place in Moscow, not the USA.

It’s time for non-voting, property owning taxpayers in Steamboat to have a vote in this community. Sadly, city council is stuck in the prior century, wanting no additional visitors and wanting those who come to stay in substandard housing that was appropriate in the prior century, but not for today’s travelers. The world of travel has changed, but Steamboat has not. Adventure tourists travel in groups now, not in singles or pairs, and they want shared common space, not adjoining hotel rooms. That’s why people want to rent houses and not hotel rooms any more.

Our country was founded on the principle of “No taxation without representation.” The concept of expanded voting is now well-known. For example, Mountain Village allows its non-resident property owners to vote, and New York City is even now allowing non-citizens to vote there. It’s time for Steamboat to join Mountain Village and permit non-resident property owners to vote in all local elections and on all local initiatives, such as taxes.

An astounding 80% of Steamboat’s residents indicated that they thought tourism was positive for Steamboat in last year’s community survey. Meanwhile, city council has taken a strong anti-tourism stance, completely inconsistent with the will of the community.

Council members appear to have been hijacked by friends and neighbors who want to destroy tourism to keep their neighborhoods unchanged (just like Steamboat’s prior-century short-term housing stock). Those biased members of council need to be recalled. They can’t be removed before six months in office, but in May it’s time to file the recall petitions and throw out these anti-tourism bums. They are trying to kill Steamboat. It is critical for the future of this community that non-resident property owners have a say in where it is going.

Recall the Steamboat Springs City Council in May and give non-resident property owners a voice in how their taxes are being spent.

James Vermillion

Steamboat Springs

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