Report your sales, hike your rent
Dear Editor:I read with familiarity the story (Aspen Times, July 6) reporting various “deals” in Aspen’s retail business. This is nothing new, however, the practice most likely has increased over the years. I am an accountant, have been for more than 30 years – more than 20 of those years in Aspen. For a short six months, 15 years ago, I was given the opportunity to make a lot of money taking over the accounting for six small retail businesses in Aspen (all of which are gone now). Soon after, I noticed the discrepancies between what was reported “on the books” and the sales “off the books,” which led me to resign my extremely well-paid business.The part that your article missed was the depth of the problem. All of the businesses I worked for were more than happy to report and pay the sales tax on all of these transactions. The reason and dollars for the cash deal goes much further than all the rest put together times a hundred. All of the retailers I worked for at the time had a lease that charged them extra money on any profits over a limited amount of sales reported. So, if you report to the city all of your sales, your rent increases proportionately. Run the numbers and you will see, the more honest you are, the faster it increases your rent, prices to the consumer and sooner or later puts the renter out of business.So please, if you are looking at addressing the problem, go to the source, as I know for sure it lies (and the lies) go back to the landlords. Find a way to make this a win-win situation and you will be the heroes of all time. The way it was dealt with in our past was “a tea party” and we have been finding ways ever since to rein in “the greedy.”Lot’s of luck, this is a can of worms that if effectively dealt with will change the downward spiral of Aspen’s economy.Linda Adams(aka Linda Kays)New Castle
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