Second-home owners say yes all around
Dear Editor: The Snowmass Village Second Homeowners Advisory Board supports approval of Snowmass Village’s November ballot questions 2A, 2B and 2C. On Question 2A, we support a lodging tax on all short-term rentals that will replace the Snowmass Village Resort Association (SVRA) civic assessment and move its group sales function to the town. This will spread the cost evenly across all short-term rental units that benefit from group sales.On Question 2B, we support issuance of general obligation bonds (GOBs) to refinance debt and fund construction of a town hall. We commend Town Council’s acceptance of the Town Hall Ad-Hoc Advisory Committee’s final recommendation to build Town Hall on the Draw site, preserve the Point site as an unencumbered town asset, and consider structuring the GOBs with an early call provision if more advantageous financing becomes available. In supporting this measure, however, we strongly urge council to explore more cost-effective, flexible financing strategies. Funds currently used for lease payments could be applied toward the new Town Hall project, allowing the town to decrease the amount bonded, and the subsequent tax burden; or, when lease payments cease, the tax burden could be mitigated with tax rebates. Working with the Center’s new owners, under a lease-to-purchase option, may provide economies of scale not available to the town as developer. In addition, if community growth provides an increase in assessed properties contributing toward debt servicing, early bond payoff or decreased mill levy should be considered. On Question 2C, we support the town’s request to issue GOBs to refinance previous debt and fund construction of a recreation center next to the pool under construction at the Entryway. If passed, these GOBs should also have an early call provision.Our support of these ballot initiatives is a commendation of the council’s willingness to work with community members to achieve a vision that the community can stand behind. We thank the council, staff, and members of the Town Hall Ad-Hoc Advisory Committee for their diligence in working toward community consensus. Snowmass Village Second Homeowners Advisory Board: Larry Sherman, Colleen Doyle, John Barrett, George Bletsas, Mel Blumenthal, Dafri Estes and Mery Butler Little
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