Harold Bradley: Towns shouldn’t dissuade visitors with lawsuits | SummitDaily.com

Harold Bradley: Towns shouldn’t dissuade visitors with lawsuits

Harold Bradley
Blue River

Wow … the recessionary pressures on local budgets seems to be spinning in a very dangerous direction in Summit County. I read in today’s Summit Daily that Frisco considers joining a suit to collect incremental “unpaid” taxes on the difference between rooms purchased from hotels and then resold online.

This continues a perilously short-sighted approach that began last year when Summit County began chasing down homeowners who rent their places and don’t pay lodging taxes to the state, county and municipalities. I believe officials announced a plan to monitor popular on-line sites like VRBO.

In a stunningly beautiful geographic area, shouldn’t local officials be eliminating such taxes almost everywhere so that demand for homes increases, prices recover, inventories shrink and families visit and spend, spend, spend – on the slopes, in the restaurants, in local hotels? Seems to me that our family pays a pretty big tax bill every time we venture out of the neighborhood.

Sometimes, especially when the economy is under pressure, the natural human tendency is to do something, do anything to try to find a few pennies. In this case, I worry that the trend may work against the long-term interests of this community in attracting increasing crowds to Summit County. We can’t count on record snows every year to do the trick.

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