Opinion | Kim McGahie: The government does not belong to the real estate rental business

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On August 24 working meeting of Breckenridge City Council.I have been a voice in the desert for personal responsibility, financial sacrifice and a dispassionate perception of our local economy. The pre-ordained council notes and other public commentary were dominated by tearful tales of shortsighted locals seeking housing solutions for Santa Claus from local authorities because they seem to think they have a right to live here.

They never mentioned personal sacrifice, saving money for future home ownership, or investing in a smaller residence now, and riding the wave of local investment to their future dream home. Instead, they feel they immediately deserve a home next to a recreation center, close to the main street and on the bus route – everything to improve the quality of life of local residents and everything is paid for by the state.

This is the dead-end road of socialism. On the contrary, free enterprise for decades has brought all existing home buyers here with the resources that have been earned the most in a lifetime by hard work and self-sacrifice.



Nobody has the right to live in such a cool, clean resort village like ours. No one should be forced to pay for another person’s alleged right to housing. And no one should expect the government to control the normal supply / demand curve that determines the prices of our exclusive resort properties.

And real estate is the main engine of our local economy, and profitability is an integral part of the incentive for most people to own real estate in Summit County. Without this income function, ski resort property ownership is impossible and the number of purchases required will be greatly reduced. The Short Term Rental Income feature allows owners to lower their cost of ownership while ensuring family use and meeting the basic vacationer housing needs that keep our economy running.



If we cut short-term apartment rentals, vacationers will stop coming here. They will find other resorts that suit their lodging needs. With fewer visitors coming here on vacation, less money will be spent on local businesses, these businesses will close, and local workers will be laid off. Limiting short-term leases will result in the community being filled with long-term tenants and no economy to support them.

Current short-term rentals are widespread in our county, providing local communities with significant income from license fees and local and state rent taxes. The tenants themselves are contributing to the local economy with excellent tax revenue from sales tax on housing, food, skiing, entertainment, and whatever else their credit cards use while they’re here.

A Denver-based family of four living in a short-term rental on the High Street is happy to invest thousands of dollars a week in our local economy to get this convenience. Without this family in this lease, Summit County is dying.

In addition, short-term rental income allows most people to own our resort properties and thus pay a 1% transfer tax to the local government treasury. Without buying real estate, we won’t have the 1% income to fund golf courses, free transportation systems, holiday centers, performing arts centers, and all the other fun things that make our mountain resort community so enjoyable and special.

This proposal by Breckenridge to restrict, restrict, or otherwise restrict short-term rent is a foolish idea to kill the goose that lays our golden eggs. The City Council is neither authorized nor authorized to conduct this behavior change experiment in accordance with unconstitutional ordinances. More government intervention means less freedom for property owners and will significantly reduce our local economic viability. Let’s get our local government to fill in the potholes and set off fireworks and keep them out of rentals where they don’t belong.

The proper function of government is to provide tax and other incentives to private developers, companies and individuals to help facilitate market solutions to local housing needs. It is better to find ways for employers to finance housing on subsidiary lands in nearby areas, pay their workers enough to afford local apartments, or purchase long-term rent apartments specifically for their employees.

A draconian top-down policy like the one proposed is the wrong solution.

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