Let’s make some money | AspenTimes.com

Let’s make some money

Dear Editor:

Here are some dots to connect: the future of Base Village and our national debt.

Neither are going to be solved quickly, or need to be. By re-electing President Obama the Americans are saying “get me out of my economic pain.” We want jobs; the economy needs “people income” for necessary, and not-so necessary, spending.

The “jobs bill,” as well as other government programs, can spark the economy by putting fresh money in circulation. However, that will cause an increase in our debt. But who cares? The rest of the world is worse off. We are still the gold standard, even though we are broke.

The Base Village project, while well conceived, was killed, not by Related, but by the meltdown that destroyed real-estate values. Of course, there was the greed factor by Aspen Skiing Co. They got the community to issue $50 million in bonds to a “hocus pocus” metro-district tax to be repaid in the tax bills of the present and future Base Village owners. For what? The Skico infrastructure that they never paid for, but sold to the first buyer of Base Village.

So when Skico sold for $160 million, $50 million cost them nothing. Absolutely nothing! A $50 million windfall profit on the backs of the property owners, never disclosed in detail – at least not to me in April 2006. When I bought, I was told it was a “minor fee.” Minor? I don’t call 60 percent of my tax “minor”! If this was New Jersey, somebody would be in prison.

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However, to clean up the economy and get Base Village moving, we need “people income.” To hell with the debt!

Richard Goodwin

Snowmass Village