Frisco needs a lodging tax
The Frisco Town Council is asking Frisco residents to approve a 2.35 percent lodging tax that could generate as much as $250,000 in new revenue.
In our view, the only local town without a lodging tax should have one – Frisco voters should vote yes Nov. 4 on Referred Measure 2A.
The money would be used for economic development, special events, advertising and marketing, recreational amenities, multipurpose facilities and open space.
That’s a lot of work for a quarter-million dollars, and that objection was raised during the town council debate on the matter. But all are good causes and all represent investments in the community and the economy.
In the end, the town likely will leverage the new money with funds already designated for promotional or capital projects.
Many people worry that Frisco must do something to dig out of its economic malaise. Finding some new working money is an important step.
Now come the hard decisions. A few we can mention are:
n How to cope with eroding sales tax revenues and the big-box wars;
n How to deal with the growth of Copper Mountain commercial activities that keep skiers there instead of apres-skiing and dining in Frisco;
n How to enhance Main Street’s charm and its mom and pop business people;
n How to hold events that don’t cannibalize the restaurants;
n How to pull people off Interstate 70; and
n How to tell people staying in Copper, Breckenridge and Keystone that Frisco is a great place to visit, dine, shop and stroll.
n County Referred Measure 1A: We recommend keeping a special mill levy that generates a set $1.6 million a year. The money would be redirected to bolstering recycling and extending the life of the landfill, helping build a community care clinic to serve the poor and underinsured, funding local, small water storage projects and purchasing open space.
n County Referred Question 1B: We advocate a yes vote that puts the Board of County Commissions on the move to ban smoking in public places, including bars and restaurants. Voting results in the four towns will be a nonbinding straw poll to show elected officials how strongly a healthy Summit County feels about secondhand smoke.
n Referendum A: Vote no. This is a Trojan Horse built by the growth-happy Front Range to throw $2 billion at taking more Western Slope water. Advocates cry about the alleged “wasted water” going down the Colorado River to Las Vegas fountains, Arizona golf courses and out-of control subdivisions. The Front Range is equally wasteful of water with unchecked growth and a landscaping ethic that doesn’t work on a High Plains desert. Why give the Front Range a blank check to maintain the status quo?
n Amendment 32: Vote no. All this does is raise residential property taxes without a definable purpose.
n Amendment 33: Vote no. Colorado doesn’t need more gambling, even if $25 million would be directed toward tourism promotion.
n Referendum 4A: A yes vote gives the Colorado River Water Conservation District more control over its budget by lifting restrictions imposed by the Taxpayers Bill of Rights. The River District needs all the resources it can get to protect our water against the Front Range, which is sure to force Referendum A upon us.
Opinions published in this space are formulated by members of the Summit Daily News editorial board: Michael Bennett, Jim Pokrandt, Jason Starr, Rachel Toth, Reid Williams, Kim Nicoletti and Martha Lunsky.
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