Andrea Camp: If we don’t invest in our community, who will?
I am writing in response to a letter written by Dave Wallace and published Wednesday, Oct. 25. I recall a meeting earlier in the summer when Mr. Wallace shared his thoughts and ideas regarding the city park bike/walking trail that runs along the east side of the park along Fortification Creek. His idea was to enhance the current dirt trail by either paving or concreting that path to make it more user friendly. Mr. Wallace, that is a great idea, however, that project, along with countless others, will not be anything more than items on a long wish list without additional revenue to fund such projects.
You also questioned the logic behind the exemptions to the proposed sales tax increase. As a council member and city resident, I hope I can explain that reasoning a little better. I have purchased four vehicles through our local dealerships since October 2014, both personal and business vehicles. The most recent purchase made locally was a Dodge Promaster van in June, 2017. I paid 7.15 percent, or $1,889.53, in sales tax, which included city, state and county taxes. Since we do not have a use tax in Craig and Moffat County, if that same purchase had been made outside Moffat County, I would not have been subject to city or county sales tax and would have only paid 2.9 percent, or $766.38, in state sales tax on that same purchase.
The City Council’s decision to exempt vehicle and OHV purchases was to address that situation and give that savings to our residents who are making these purchases locally, which may keep more of that money in our community.
In regard to your remarks about the exemption for our lodging industry: Again, to me it makes good sense to not further burden an industry that collects some of the highest taxes in our community. The 1.9-percent lodging tax, which funds the Moffat County Tourism Association, and the additional 4-percent lodging tax, which is the funding source for the Local Marketing District, was passed by the city and county residents in November 2015 and puts our lodging tax rate at 13.05 percent. As a council member, I don’t believe it was in the best interests of our community to add an additional 1.75-percent tax to the lodging industry. Many of our long term lodging stays are laborers who are here working on projects, such as outages at Tri-State G&T. Is it fair to add an additional tax burden to these workers who are supporting our grocery stores, restaurants and other retail businesses? I, personally, don’t think so.
I consistently hear from community members that we need to bring new businesses to town to create more jobs and to diversify our economy. If we, as the residents, want to see positive changes, we need to create that change. If we do not invest in our community, who will? It is our responsibility, not the responsibility of anyone else. Please join me in voting yes on 2A Invest in Craig; we will be glad we did!