Letter: RETT vital to Aspen’s arts arena | AspenTimes.com

Letter: RETT vital to Aspen’s arts arena

We are writing to urge Aspen voters to please vote “yes” to extend the Wheeler Real Estate Transfer Tax (RETT), ballot issue 2E.

The Wheeler RETT is not an annual tax on Aspen residents or visitors. It is a one-time, 0.5 percent tax paid to the city when an individual or entity purchases property within the city limits. This tax principally supports the operation of the Wheeler Opera House, one of Aspen’s treasures, but it also benefits the arts and cultural organizations that make Aspen a world renowned destination.

The RETT tax initiative has supported the arts in Aspen in substantial amounts for more than 15 years. The funding from RETT has been transformative and has made a significant impact on Aspen’s many arts organizations. Please remember that if RETT is not extended, it will be forever lost, due to the restrictions imposed by Colorado’s TABOR law, passed in 1992, prohibiting the creation of new real estate transfer taxes. It is Aspen’s outstanding arts and cultural organizations that set it apart from other resort communities. Losing the Wheeler RETT would put many of Aspen’s cherished arts institutions in jeopardy. We urge you to support Aspen’s vibrant arts organizations by voting “yes” to extend the Wheeler RETT.

Alan Fletcher

President and CEO, Aspen Music Festival and School

James Horowitz

Founder/President/CEO, Jazz Aspen Snowmass

Jean-Philippe Malaty

Executive director, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet

Paige Price

Executive artistic director, Theatre Aspen