Letter to the editor: Second-home owners support our community
Several others have made the point that our second-home owners make a significant contribution to our community. This in no way lessens the important contributions of our full-time residents as suggested by Daniel Garcia.
One of the many ways second-home owners support our community is through tax payments. These owners pay at the same rate as full-time residents for early childhood care, workforce housing, K-12 schools and Colorado Mountain College though they are unlikely to use these services. They also pay the same rate as full-timers for police, fire, ambulance, water and sewer, road and bridge, libraries and more even though their use of services is limited. If folks are worried about having the resources to support a return of second-home owners, just think about the impact on tax revenue when the word gets out to prospective buyers that Summit County does not welcome second-home owners.
When it comes to the coronavirus, we are all responsible for our own safety and for adhering to public health guidelines for social distancing, masks, staying at home when ill, etc. Second-home owners are no exception, and I’ll bet their compliance will be no less than the full-timers. Some second-home owners may find staying at their first home is safer than being here and decide to stay put. But that should be their choice.
Eagle County, including Vail, defines local residents as “those persons who own, maintain, or live in a home or residence in Eagle County.” I am asking the Summit County public health director, the Summit Board of County Commissioners and the Silverthorne Town Council to consider this inclusive definition for our community.
Many second-home owners return to the county slowly during May and June. What better way to begin to gradually open the county than to welcome these local residents back?
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