Housing crisis

Letter: Taxing private landlords will not solve the housing crisis

This letter concerns the recent article: “Avon considers its options for handling short-term rentals”. While the city council certainly has the power to tax anything within the city limits, I have to ask why are private landlords held responsible for the failures of local employers for neglecting the concept of employee housing?

I have lived in the Vallée de Vail for 37 years, as an employee living in public housing, tenant, owner of a property, and more recently owner of a rental property. I am currently renting this property long term, but am considering getting into the short term rental market. If I decide to do so, it will be based on my financial situation. Not what the city of Avon wants me to do.

Yes, there is a serious employee housing problem! Local employers assumed there would always be a supply of underutilized properties that would be available and pushed the blame down the road. This myopia has now come to bite them in the proverbial butt.

But taxing or restricting 318 private owners is not going to change the current situation. Owners will simply charge more per night to cover their needs.

The real solution is to offer huge tax breaks to developers who would build more projects like the Piedmont by Walmart. A single project could easily provide over 300 dedicated units, far outweighing the STR units the city of Avon would like to control. Or even better: how about taxing companies in the valley to cover these tax advantages, since they are the direct beneficiaries of these developments!

But in any case, it should be employers who should be held responsible for the housing of their employees, not private landlords.

Ric Reiter