Wednesday letters: ‘Candy,’ inflation act, lodging tax thoughts |

Wednesday letters: ‘Candy,’ inflation act, lodging tax thoughts

Post Independent Letters to the editor graphic

Candy before an election

Thanks to Gov. Polis for signing Senate Bill 22-233, which directs Colorado residents to receive the “Colorado Cashback” refund check — sounds like you just won the lottery when in reality this refund is required by the TABOR (Taxpayer Bill Of Rights) refunds. 

This refund was not supposed to be distributed until the spring of 2023. I am sure the premature “as quickly as possible” distribution of this refund has nothing to do with a reelection bid coming up in November.

Rebecca Hale, Glenwood Springs

Countering Bruell’s support of IRA

Ms. Bruell (Dems column, PI 8/19) says Republicans have misrepresented the “Inflation Reduction Act” to justify their opposition to it. Hmmm.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says the very title of this act is a lie. They avow this act’s effect will be negligible, zip, nada. So much for misrepresenting stuff, Deb.

Debbie’s “tax the rich mantra” is simplistically naive. Rich people are not stupid. When their cost of doing business increases through higher taxes, they pass those costs on to the consumer. We end up paying their “fair share” of taxes.

The act adds further restrictions and higher taxes on our fossil fuel industries, ensuring that all energy costs will remain unacceptably high.

One thing Deb didn’t misrepresent was the act adding 87,000 more IRS agents. In fact she forgot to mention it at all. Oops. 

The act does not address the hordes invading over our southern border. The act does nothing to fight out-of-control crime. The act does nothing to improve our childrens’ 35th place global rank in education.

It’s a shame; the Dems, with the help of the mainstream media and big tech, have failed the American people. Far left socialist policies and Pravda-like lock step control of information are the real threat to our democracy.

Biden was going to unite us and be transparent. Did Deb’s Dems redefine those words also?

Bruno Kirchenwitz, Rifle

Premature endorsement

And so, it begins. The propaganda campaign to encourage the people of Glenwood Springs to pass a sales tax on lodging that will do nothing and solve nothing, purportedly to create affordable housing. The Post Independent’s editorial board, which must include Nostradamus and a crystal ball, wrote that we should all vote for an increase in lodging tax to support “affordable” housing.  (PI 8/22/22).

I had to check my calendar. The election is over 11 weeks away. In fact, and I know this because I am on the Glenwood Springs City Council, the actual ballot language has not been approved yet. What exactly is the PI endorsing? Do they know? Did the mayor tell them? Because I, the city attorney and the city clerk don’t know yet for sure what the ballot language says, because it has not been approved yet to place on a ballot. It may include less or additional language. We don’t know yet.

One might assume we are moving forward with a 2.5% increase on our lodging tax. The price of a “cup of coffee,” as the PI claims, to raise about $1 million a year, but again no vote to approve ballot language has occurred.  

The PI also writes that this coffee cost is not enough to make a “significant dent” in the need for housing. The mayor promises to come back for more; “this is just a start,” he says. He must be borrowing the PI’s crystal ball. Does he think the voters in this community will tolerate question after question increasing a tax on one industry (lodging) to build speculative housing that benefits all businesses? Good luck.

Finally, I am not opposed to workforce housing. I am opposed to taxing one segment of our economy to fund a speculative, amorphous, unknown solution that will just create more bureaucracy and benefit no one and build nothing. Before you vote, months from now, ask yourself one question. Wherever this tax comes from do you trust the city of Glenwood Springs, and this City Council, to spend your money? If the answer is no, then your vote is clear.

Tony Hershey, council member, Glenwood Springs

Mayor supports lodging tax

I applaud the Post Independent editorial board’s endorsement of the lodging tax increase this November. The editorial board correctly summarized my position that we need more, and larger, sources of revenue to address this housing crisis that is killing small business owners and driving out our working-class neighbors. The editorial possibly suggested that I was not supportive of the current 2.5% lodging tax proposal because it was not high enough. I wanted to clarify that I am very supportive of this ask, and voted for it at our last council meeting. I was proud of the 6-1 vote council took to advance this modest proposal for the voter’s consideration. 

One year ago I proposed and strongly advocated for a 5% lodging tax increase along with taxing tourist attractions at the same rate as every other business in town. These two tourist taxes would have been paid almost completely by visitors and could have generated $5 million annually for affordable housing programs. Council voted to not place it on the ballot that fall, and after a year of debate, we arrived at a proposal that will generate $1 million a year. 

While I feel that this is inadequate, I want to be clear that I am a strong supporter of both the public’s role in affordable housing generally, and this 2.5% increased lodging tax specifically. While this rate might seem meager, it should not stop us from taking this important first step. I thank the PI’s editor for including a note clarifying my position and thank the editorial board for the time and thought they put into these community issues. 

Jonathan Godes, Mayor and City Council member, Glenwood Springs

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