Loopers: Vote no on lodging tax

Advertisement

To the editor:

We would like to thank Dave DeRose for all the effort he has put into trying to make Craig a better place to live and visit. We agree in principle with what Progress for Craig is trying to do.

Where the problem lies is in the dramatic amount that this group and the Craig City Council decided to pursue in this ballot question.

By increasing the lodging tax by 5 percent to the 6.9 percent, per the ballot question, you are, in effect, raising the taxes that lodging establishments have to charge to a total of 14.05 percent.

This will place an unfair burden on the lodging industry. The proposal makes the increase in marketing Craig, from 1.9 percent to 3 percent. Three percent more goes to infrastructure (capital expenses) relating to tourism.

This ambiguous terminology leaves it open for future councils to decide what capital improvements relate to tourism.

Although we agree that these items would be beneficial to Craig, they may not do anything to attract or retain tourists.

A petition, signed by the entire lodging industry in Craig, was presented at the first city council reading of this ballot question.

This petition asked the council to keep the total percentage of the ballot measure below 5 percent. Most of the businesses that signed the petition could see the need for a change in the funding of marketing Craig.

What we objected to was the drastic amount of the increase, 363 percent. In this slower economy, with most hotels not yet full for hunting season, and our local mine jobs at risk, this is not the time to be greedy.

A smaller increase could have been presented or even a tax to go across a larger base, including other tourist dependent businesses, at a smaller rate to get the same return.

Please keep in mind that at the 14.05 percent lodging tax, we will be higher than almost all other cities in Colorado, and definitely higher than the Western Slope communities.

The total tax charged, including city, county, state and lodging, in Meeker is 8.4 percent, Glenwood Springs is 11.1 percent, and Grand Junction is 10.65 percent.

Even hotels in downtown Denver are only required to charge 14.85 percent.

You may agree with the concept of this ballot issue, but we ask you to thoughtfully consider the consequences of this ballot measure and vote no on 2B.

It is the wrong time and the cost is too high.

Randy and Cindy Looper

Comments

native_craig_guy 4 years, 2 months ago

Given that the vast majority of the hotel guests in this community are representatives from out of town businesses I do not see the down side in raising a lodging tax. It is a common practice all over the state and we should capitalize on the opportunity to make more money for the community. This is a way to raise money without taxing the local population. I do not agree on how the money is appropriated (I think that the MCTA is a complete and utter joke) but where the money is spent can be decided upon later. I think that the city council copped out (like on the Medical Marijuana Issue) and is scared to make an actual decision.

0

als362 4 years, 2 months ago

I agree with native_craig_guy on this issue. I really have no experience with MCTA so I will opt out of an opinion on them.

0

wellwell 4 years, 2 months ago

Well, I would invite more people to do some research by opening http://www.progressforcraig.com Read this and you will be better informed.

0

als362 4 years, 2 months ago

I have all the data I need to make this decision. Thanks

0

wellwell 4 years, 2 months ago

als362, I too support diversifying the economy by increasing advertisment of the area and providing tourtists more activities. This is a win-win situation.

0

Nadja Rider 4 years, 2 months ago

I agree with the Loopers 100%! I'm not opposed to a reasonable lodging tax rate - the keyword here is reasonable! 6.9% is NOT reasonable!

Our city council members and mayor did receive feedback from the local lodging industry, they chose to ignore it. Now this needs to be voted down, and they need to go back to the drawing board and come up with a more sensible plan.

Does Craig really want a reputation for having some of the highest tax rates in the state? The prevaiing idea of this being free money and it's no big deal since we are not paying for it is very distasteful to me and should be to every citizen in this town.

VOTE NO!

0

taxslave 4 years, 2 months ago

I just have to say it.....

Those representing the lodging industry of Craig told the council their concerns "but the council chose to ignore them"....something to that effect. Kinda like flippin' them off, same thing.

Who the hell do these council members think they represent? Kinda like all the other politicans at large...they just ignore those who gave them the job.

I think the council should be recalled and if derose wants to still run the show let him run for office.....all of you really hoover.

0

wellwell 4 years, 2 months ago

Read this site: http://www.progressforcraig.com There was a lot I didn't like, but at least I know plans and issues. Just click the highlighted address.

0

Nadja Rider 4 years, 2 months ago

I did read it, all of it. Regardless of how you sugar coat this, it's still a very steep tax increase.

0

wellwell 4 years, 2 months ago

nadja, In http://www.progressforcraig.com did you see some "plans" or "blue prints" you did not like? I did.

0

Nadja Rider 4 years, 2 months ago

wellwell, There were quite a few items that I felt should not be funded by lodging tax dollars, one is anything EDP related. Most of the items in the "plan" sounded more like a very extravagant wish list. A $25,000 website? Obviously not planning on using a local web designer.

The lodging tax dollars should be used to promote tourism - and that's it. Though it's been argued that a rec center could bring in or enhance tourism, it really is more for local use than anything else. It may be appropriate to funnel a small amount of the tax funds into that type of project if it includes an events center. I don't believe it should be funded solely with lodging tax dollars.

And by the way, according to the tax rate documents included in the "plan" - Craig would indeed be the highest taxed municipality in Colorado. Denver comes in with a total of 13.25% and Craig's would be 14.05%!

0

wellwell 4 years, 2 months ago

Nadja,

You found what was my concern on the gym. An events center is more needed as a tourism basis. The gym is a "run around the end play." I truly support the need of a gym and extra basketball courts, but this not is not a tourism driven need. I like your, "The lodging tax dollars should be used to promote tourism - and that's it."

The EDP. The past hangs heavy over their heads with inaction, internal and eternal fighting. They must act quickly, affirmatively, and have real results. There have been many changes on the board - still power struggles? Are standards not well written or followed? Is the director overly controlled? Is the County micromanaging? EDP you better get the act together and it better be visable action with results..

You got me on the $25,000 website, but then I'll have to research normal costs on that.

On any architecture, building, and landscaping, everything should be locally contracted or the contractor hires only local people; part of the contract.

I always leave off the tax discussion because enough is not know by the public about the Plans and Blueprints.

Nadja, you and I have found the problems thru research. We should not have to research. The document, plans and blueprints should have been, and now need to be, published in the Craig Daily Press!

If there was "Transparency" there would be no need for "Education"

0

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.