Why punish Aspen homeowners?

Dear honorable mayor and council people:

The Aspen Board of Realtors brought in the general counsel for the Colorado Association of Realtors along with a lawyer from the Colorado Bar Association Real Estate section. Because Aspen is a real part of the global economy so much more than other resort towns, their information about where the housing market is headed was extremely helpful. Their example was the Denver market, which they said in the last six weeks or so has gone from 10-plus offers per property to none. Obviously, to help the sellers, prices are being lowered and Denver and the suburbs are collecting less taxes.

Now to bring this to Aspen reality in the past week or two. Our market has slowed and we are starting to see price reductions. We will know shortly how much this market will slow, which relates to much less income for the city. So, the next point is talking about the heavy impact your proposed new fees will cause locals for upgrades, remodels, even new roofs. I can give you several examples over the past few years where locals applied for remodel permits for roofs, windows, doors — even bathrooms and kitchens. And, after waiting for months and spending thousands of dollars, they still did not get permits. Several of those locals decided to sell.

Then guess what happened? Another teardown on a perfectly good home for remodel. And, by the way, what good does limiting tear-downs do for anyone — how about working the building permits to get projects built?

Why would you punish any new or older homeowner here with extreme “employee” mitigation for existing subgrade or other space?  This point could also relate to STRs. 

For example, I rent my home out a few weeks per year or a month at most.  Like most responsible homeowners here — local or not — my lawn is always maintained, my housekeeper always comes, the snow is always plowed and/or shoveled. How is the employee count increased whether a homeowner or a tenant is in residence?

The more you “tax,” it just may happen that the less you collect.

With this impending slow down — a real recession is happening — mortgage rates have doubled, stock market is in a free fall, we will have many few sales which equals less

Income to the city and for sure less rental tax to the city because it will be impossible for many homeowner/landlords-to pay your new proposed mitigation.

I suggest you rethink the craziness from the COVID move to Aspen folk. If you watch the summer, dozens of properties are available for “re-rent” which means the tenants decided not to come here, or go other places.  I am afraid if you really enact these extreme exactions, you could be responsible for loss of real jobs of much of your constituency.  I have been here through many cycles. 

You know as we lose people — your neighbors and friends — you will be blamed.

Please slow down.

Lorrie Winnerman