The problem of where they should live

aspen-airportPlaces like Aspen and Breckenridge have a problem: people who work there can’t live anywhere close.

Jonathan Thompson wrote an article about this in The Denver Post (link). He outlines the problem far better than I can – and backs it up with good research.

But Jonathan did not propose any solutions. I will.

Part-time residents in such places should pay a tax to build affordable housing in close proximity. That tax should be based on the amount of time they don’t live there. In other words, if someone lives in their vacation home just three weekends a year, their tax would be higher than someone who lives there year-round. Or than someone who rents out their vacation home during the time they’re not there.

I know this is the kind of post that many read and take issue with. I’m turning off comments for this post only, as it’s one of those things where if you believe differently, I can’t convince you of my point – and vice-versa.

p.s. I love Aspen. And Breckenridge. And their competition. I took the photo above during a brief visit in 2007. That’s the airport just outside Aspen, which has a greater density of Learjets than any other airport in the USA. (That is not a statistic I can back up.)