I’m writing in response to the recent guest opinion piece written by Steven Frumess detailing Summit County’s supposed “economic destruction” due to an increase in property taxes on homes being used as short-term rentals.
It’s really not surprising how this particular piece of legislation is being met with such vigorous (and self-centered) opposition, because it’s safe to say that the housing crisis right here in Summit County is a paradigm for the ever-growing economic disparity occurring all throughout Colorado — and the entire United States. It’s also not surprising how Mr. Frumess conveniently ignored the general purpose of this ensuing legislation in his blatantly one-sided opinion piece, which is to incentivize Summit County homeowners to rent to long-term local tenants instead of tourists.
This crucial omission speaks volumes about why there’s so much fear mongering coming from our local short-term rental industry, because it shows how they’re unabashedly contributing to our community’s biggest issue in all-too-tangible ways — and in turn are attempting to portray themselves as “tourist economy Messiahs” to subsequently sway public opinion and maintain their status quo. Was Summit County’s economy really so bad before the emergence of popular apps like Airbnb and VRBO? Absolutely not. Was Summit County’s local housing market more sustainable and affordable before such apps? Absolutely yes.
My advice to Summit County residents is to not listen to the short-term rental fear mongerers who want to perpetuate our existential housing crisis, and instead listen to your conscience about what’s best for the service workers that our community heavily relies upon just as much as tourist consumers. Tourists and Front Range residents will always flock to our area, and our businesses will be much better off with sustainable employment.
We simply can’t continue this “rich-people-first” outlook anymore.