Letter to the editor: An alternative to increasing minimum wage
Thanks for the great article in the Summit Daily News on Sunday about the minimum wage issue. While not explicitly stated in the article, I assume the “problem” we are trying to solve is that minimum wage workers can’t afford to live in Summit County. If so, then there are two logical solutions: One is to increase the minimum wage, which the local business community is clearly against. The other is to make living in Summit County more affordable for these folks.
This doesn’t seem like a hard problem to solve. From the article: housing costs are the culprit, almost all minimum wage earners rent and housing supply is split roughly into thirds (short term rentals, second homes and housing for locals). If we look at what others are doing, in the Park City area for example, secondary residences are taxed at roughly two times the rate of primary residences.
It seems like a simple solution would be to adopt the Park City property tax model and use the incremental revenue to provide rental subsidies for full-time workers with a salary less than some threshold. Coming from Kansas City, I can tell you that my property taxes in Summit County could double and still be significantly less than we paid in in Kansas City for similarly priced property.
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