Frisco candidate Q&A: Do you support the short-term rental excise tax on the local ballot? |

Frisco candidate Q&A: Do you support the short-term rental excise tax on the local ballot?

I will vote “yes” on the short-term rental excise tax and believe the money would be best spent on public transportation. More importantly, I support the idea of people having a direct say in policymaking. I do not believe this tax is a silver bullet answer to our current housing crisis. We need a multifaceted approach that allows flexibility and can accommodate a variety of homeownership scenarios. The people of Frisco have the best perspective on how to address this situation, and we should look to them for solutions.

— James Hayes Walsh

Yes, I voted in favor of the excise tax to be decided by the people. Personally, I believe that short-term rentals have directly and negatively affected local workforce housing. In addition, short-term rentals are not taxed commercially like other forms of lodging. A hotel pays more tax on its occupants. In most cases, short-term rentals are a business proposition. If the people of Frisco vote in favor of this ballot measure, the 5% surcharge will come from the visitors who use them and help directly fund workforce housing. This ballot measure also puts us more in line with what other local municipalities charge the short-term rental market.

— Andy Held

The people of Frisco will make this decision, but I do believe that the excise tax is warranted. Workforce housing is unquestionably necessary, and the excise tax is the most logical solution put forth so far. The choice to short-term rent rather than long-term rent is a financial one. However, making that choice contributes heavily to the lack of affordable, available housing for our locals, so it is reasonable to me for those who make that choice to be contributors to the solution.

— Lisa Holenko

While I do support the excise tax on the local ballot, I do not see it as a long-term solution but more as a temporary situation because, if it does pass, we will at least be in line with other local town’s excise taxes on rentals. But a more narrow, hard look at the short-term rental situation is needed in order to save our workforce and grow our community in every way that supports all businesses and services of our community.

— Elizabeth Skrzypczak-Adrian

I support the excise tax on the local ballot. The funds gathered from the excise tax can be used to further benefit the housing plans and long-term vision that most community members support for the future of our town.

— Joe “Buck” Phillips

Yes, as a way to help fund affordable housing in our community. The short-term rental excise tax is a continuation of our efforts started with 5A (the countywide sales tax to generate funds to assist with affordable housing). Whereas the 5A tax is paid by everyone, the excise tax would be paid by visitors, not residents.

Frisco has targeted the 5A funds at several affordable housing projects (three currently in different stages of planning and development). However, 5A funding is insufficient to fund those projects, and we need even more projects to solve our workforce housing challenges, so I support the excise tax for now.

While I support affordable housing, I am also sensitive to the importance of tourism for our town. This is why I say, “for now.” Looking toward the future, with success of our affordable housing projects, I would support exercising the option our town attorney identified during a recent council meeting. He said the council could choose to reduce or eliminate the excise tax in the future without another ballot initiative, as only new or increased taxes need to be on a ballot and reductions do not.

— David Rolling

I do not support the excise tax. We should be able to find solutions to our short-term rental issues without government increasing taxes.

— John Hammett

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