Second home tax DOA

Rep. Mike Yin’s proposal for a fee for second home owners should be considered dead on arrival.

[The legislative committee did vote the bill down. — Ed.]

First of all, many second home owners in Jackson Hole spend much of the summer in the valley and go to warmer climes in colder months, with visits for Christmas and winter sports. These folks have little incentive to rent out their homes for short duration.

Secondly, the short window thus available to any potential renter who wishes to live full time in the valley makes such an option ridiculous.

Yin’s proposal makes no sense. Jackson Hole has an affordable housing problem but this is no solution.

Robert Baker

Jackson

Second home owners matter

I appreciate the second home owners in this community. They typically pay much higher property taxes than the average working resident but don’t use the schools, which are the largest beneficiary of property taxes.

Imagine those properties occupied with conventional families, which creates a 40% increase in school enrollment with a decrease in funding!

If taxes are too high, decrease the mill levy. It seems ludicrous to suggest a nonoccupancy tax on those that already contribute disproportionately to the community.

Kent Fiske

Jackson

Mountain is not user friendly

We retired to Jackson as seniors (I am 73, my husband 74) because we loved the mountain and it was convenient and easy. We could ski over 50 days, two to three hours a day, which was what we could handle.

Last year was crowded, but we begrudgingly put up with it.

Now you are telling us the crowds will be back this year because of the Ikon pass and that the mountain parking will be unaffordable for your seniors and season pass holders.

This mountain is no longer user friendly to seniors and locals. That’s why it dropped to No. 16 in Ski magazine’s ranking of great ski resorts. How low can it go?

Ellen Karpf

Jackson

Vail should respect us

From Vail, Colorado, to Jackson, Wyoming, in 14 other states, in Canada and Australia, all places where Vail Resorts has properties, they prove they are not good neighbors. They often operate in secrecy, don’t inform communities what they are doing and at times seem willing to ignore or try to bend municipal planning, building and environmental regulations to their corporate advantage.

This is illustrated by an Associated Press story on the front of Saturday’s Jackson Hole Daily: ‘Crummy’ housing plan leads to lawsuit.

The crummy housing plan was Vail Resorts’ attempt to develop employee housing in critical bighorn sheep winter habitat in Vail. The lawsuit is aimed at the town of Vail, as its Planning and Environmental Commission voted 4 to 3 to allow the development despite town rules aimed at protecting wildlife. Furthermore, Vail Resorts has an employee that sits on the town of Vail’s Planning and Environmental Commission and voted to approve the Vail Resorts development. The lawsuit alleges the Vail Resorts employee should have been recused and asks the judge to send the case back to the town with instructions for proper decision making.

From the Daily’s story, former Vail Mayor Rob Ford, a longtime resident opposing the construction, said even people who recognize a need for affordable worker housing have been questioning Vail leaders’ decision-making: “It was not transparent. Residents were lied to. It is a poorly planned project, a crummy project,” Ford said.

Sounds familiar to many of us in Jackson. Here, Vail Resorts is ignoring our Comprehensive Plan and land development regulations and proposing to create a non-compliant commercial/industrial zone at Jackson Hole Golf and Tennis Club and move some of their park-based concessions operations, including their retail warehousing, from Grand Teton National Park to Golf and Tennis, in violation of requirements for the county’s designated special purpose resort zones.

On Nov. 12 the Teton County Planning Commission held a hearing on Vail Resorts’ application and voted against Vail Resorts being allowed to move their park concession business to Golf and Tennis, or to add cell towers, which Vail Resorts called “a required utility” for Golf and Tennis.

The Teton County Board of County Commissioners is scheduled to hear Vail’s proposal on Dec. 17 and cast the final votes regarding the application. Hopefully they will deny Vail Resorts these non-compliant uses.

If Vail Resorts respected our community’s Comp Plan and LDRs and respected their Golf and Tennis neighbors, they would withdraw their ill-conceived application.

For decades locals have said don’t let Jackson become just another Vail. I couldn’t agree more.

Joan Anzelmo

Jackson

Control your dog

I am fairly new to Jackson and have been attacked by two off-leash dogs while my dog was leashed. The last dog owner was very verbal about her dog not having to be on a leash.

I had to carry my small 15-pound dog back to the car. I called the Teton County Sheriff’s Office about the laws so I would know exactly how to respond to other off- leash dogs. The law is that your dog can be off leash if it can be controlled by verbal commands.The deputy did a drive-by to see if he could find the dog that attacked mine. The owner can be ticketed and fined.

Seems like people in Jackson Hole ignore the law totally. I have wished for someone to step up and speak about this issue. It really is not fair to the dog owners that obey the laws. It is especially inconsiderate to the dogs on a leash.

I hope you can address this issue in the paper some more.

Elaine Ozburn

Jackson

Letters to the editor should be limited to 400 words, be signed and include a town of residence and a telephone number for verification. Letters are due by 5 p.m. Monday. No thank yous or political endorsement letters. Guest Shot columns are limited to 800 words. Email editor@jhnewsandguide.com.

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