A fantasy rebate | AspenTimes.com

A fantasy rebate

Dear Editor:

Last week at the Woody Creek Caucus, Rob Ittner proposed that Pitkin County pay a rebate to business tenants who “maintain certain payrolls throughout the year.” (Aspen Daily News, Oct. 1, 2010)

This fantasy rebate would be given to businesses without any connection to its apparent goal. It is completely naïve for Rob to suggest local businesses owners who have had to cut jobs in these difficult times will suddenly change their plans and retain more employees than their business justifies, merely because of the promise of a token tax rebate.

Unfortunately the fantasy rebate, at least as proposed last week, demonstrates a lack of homework on Rob’s part. What is the cost of such a taxpayer subsidy to private business? Since the rebates would not generate any additional tax revenues for the county (would actually cost us revenue), where would cuts have to be made to fund this fantasy? Health and Human or Senior Services? Road and bridge repair?

It does not take much homework to see Rob’s idea is unresearched and poorly thought-out. It would actually be bad for business as such a subsidy will decrease our ability to provide essential services.

I believe Pitkin County should act appropriately and responsibly to create and sustain a stable economic environment which brings more business to the county – in particular business generated by tourism. It is not the role of Pitkin County to make meaningless gestures which it cannot afford.

Jack Johnson


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