Letter: Businesses lose with rec center | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Businesses lose with rec center

Who wouldn't like the idea of a rec center? Sounds great on the surface, but the reality is that the concept of a 63,000-square-foot recreation facility is too big and too expensive and, in the end, will destroy local businesses.

Most people aren't aware of the enormous tax burden business are under already and what an additional inordinate tax burden this mandate will impose. Most people aren't aware that commercial properties pay four to five times more in property taxes than a residence with the same assessed value. Why now, after one of the worst economic downturns in generations, is it such a great idea to hit businesses with an additional tax when most of them can least afford one? Why, with schools already struggling, would someone propose creating a lifetime tax for the creation of a center when it is already is known that it will begin operation in the red? In canvassing businesses in the district, I have yet to find more than a handful of business owners who would be so agreeable to practicing economic suicide in order to purpose this lunacy.

With local schools already struggling to attract and retain good teachers, many of whom cannot afford to live in the valley they teach in, does anyone really think that a rec center, running in the red from the get-go, is prudent? It's interesting to see how the pro-rec-center group — whose largest expenditure to date, using our tax dollars for signs, banners and pamphlets and other printing needs — can outsource this to a Denver-based print shop while many of the print shops in the district could have provided this service. Stick it to the locals for their tax dollars, but spend their money elsewhere, further undermining local businesses.

Crown Mountain Park has always been a wonderful park for what it has offered. Let's keep the park a park. Vote "no" on 4C and 4D.

Evan Glasener

Basalt