Is this correct? | AspenTimes.com

Is this correct?

I’m trying very hard to get this all straight.

The SVRA fails to do an adequate job of marketing our entrepreneurial, for-profit, private resort. It is relinquishing that job, turning it over to our town government. Is this correct?

The town government proposes to pass a 2.5 percent sales tax, communitywide, for the purpose of marketing the private enterprises and activities within the resort. Is this correct?

An allegedly independent board composed of three commercial entrepreneurs and two at-large representatives is to be set up to administer a $2.5 million annual marketing effort.

This board is to be nominated by businesses and residents, and confirmed by the Town Council. Is this correct?

Now the properties to benefit from this tax and the marketing effort are, presumably: The Aspen Skiing Co., The Timbers Club, the real estate fraternity, the lodges, the restaurants, and the merchants.

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Does this seem correct?

My next question is: Who among these entities has stepped forward to help fund the proposed marketing effort, which will, of course, rebound to their benefit?

While this tax has been proposed and discussed, the Skico, for one, is building a completely new, $7.5 million golf course. It is also adding multi-million-dollar lodging facilities at its Snowmass Club. The Timbers is also building its own multi-million-dollar club.

These properties are being sold at a profit by our real estate interests, who garner a healthy commission on each transaction. Have I got it all straight so far?

This brings up my next question: Is it the consuming public’s responsibility to foot the bill for a marketing effort put forth to ensure the success of our town’s private enterprises?

Other questions: Has the town government approached the private interests for help in the funding of these marketing efforts? If not, why not? Is the cost really being passed onto our guests, our residents and the whole valley?

I guess I need reliable answers to these questions before voting. Please straighten me out in these quandaries of mine.

Oops, a further question just occurred to me: Are we being offered $50 per resident for our votes in order to tax ourselves to the tune of 2.5 million smackers ? without being told how, where and for what specific purposes even one single dollar of this is to be spent?

Phil Desmond

Snowmass Village

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