A tax we can vote for | AspenTimes.com

A tax we can vote for

Dear Editor:

We all benefit from a successful and positive business climate in Aspen. Everyone benefits from a local economy that is healthy and strong. Voters have an opportunity to help Aspen’s business environment right now as the Aspen Chamber and the Aspen Lodging Association work to establish a Local Marketing District and increase Aspen’s room tax by 1 percentage point. Measure 5A is on the ballot for voters in the proposed Marketing District area, basically downtown, at Highlands and the Aspen Meadows. These are the areas impacted by the proposed room tax and the businesses that will benefit from the nearly $1 million in new marketing dollars that the tax will generate for Aspen.

Why should local district voters support this tax? There are good reasons!

• The tax is on rooms rented by visitors. No property tax impact.

• Our current community marketing funds are terribly low for a major resort town.

• Our businesses in town need the activity that the new room tax will generate.

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• So also our local friends and fellow employees depend on successful businesses for their livelihoods.

• The present room tax rate is well below other mountain resorts and so is money available for marketing.

• The tax has a five-year “sunset” so it will be reconsidered again in 2015.

• This is a tax on visitor expenditures for lodging with a HUGE local marketing and sales impact.

All kinds of studies show that when a resort community effectively markets itself, business, employment and income are positively affected. That is our goal with the new Aspen Local Marketing District.

As a local who cares deeply about our Aspen business climate and the people who work here, I urge voters in the Marketing District to vote YES on measure 5A. Watch for your ballot in the mail and mail it back! Don’t forget, you need a 61-cent stamp, and you MUST sign the envelope for your vote to count. Thank you!

Warren Klug

lodge operator, Aspen

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