Aspen should look to Guernsey

Guernsey is one of the four Channel Islands between the south of England and France. Guernsey was a tax haven for very wealthy Brits when I visited friends there a few decades ago. He was a veterinarian and she dabbled in real estate, buying dumps, fixing them up and reselling them.

There were the A’s, B’s, and C’s living on the island. The A’s were born and raised there, ordinary folks, small farms, shopkeepers, etc. Only the A’s were allowed to buy lower-end real estate.

The B’s were folks allowed resident status after a certain amount of time who filled in necessary positions required to keep the place running that couldn’t be filled by local A’s. B’s were allowed to buy B-status real estate only, which was more expensive than A-status real estate.

The C’s were for the most part tax-dodging, ultra rich who could only afford to buy the most expensive real estate, often on the edge of cliffs with marvelous views of the Atlantic where the winds blew, keeping the air nice and fresh at all times. Although they declared Guernsey their primary residence, they were seldom around.

Thus the island, small as it is, was able to sustain generations of ordinary folks comfortably alongside, more or less, the ultra wealthy. What a concept!

Pat Milligan

Aspen Village