Letter to the editor: Vote ‘no’ on 6B housing tax because proof of need is insufficient | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Vote ‘no’ on 6B housing tax because proof of need is insufficient

James Tuthill

Measure 6B seeks to extend by 20 years the 0.6% Summit Combined Housing Authority sales tax. We all agree that our county and communities have housing shortfalls. But extending this tax now does nothing for our current situation. Yes, it is a small amount, but that is not a reason to extend it. You should vote “no“ for the following reasons:

There is no current need for the extension: The tax still has five years remaining. Extending the tax now will do nothing to address our current housing shortfall.

Things change. In three or four years, the housing conditions in Summit County might be different from the present. There might be no need in the future to extend the tax. Other funding sources might develop, such as employer-provided housing. Prudency says wait and see.

The proponents for the tax have not provided clear and persuasive reasons to extend the tax. All they have said is, “We have a housing crisis, so let’s extend the tax now.” That’s insufficient.

Taxes become permanent: We were told this would be a 10-year tax. Now we’re being asked to make it 30 years. It’s likely if the measure is approved, it will become permanent. The inevitable next step will be to ask us to increase the percentage.

The county has not adequately told us how it has spent the $40 million or so it has already collected. Before any tax is extended, voters should know how our elected officials have handled current revenue. Knowing how current revenue has been spent tells voters if the funds are being used prudently and as intended.

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