I was appalled by Mallory Walker’s full-page ad/letter campaign advising people to vote “no” on raising the LOT tax. I’m a 33-year-old Ketchum local who has lived here my whole life. Housing is of big concern to me as I see many people my age losing housing, having to leave town, or being priced out of the market. I will be casting my vote for the LOT tax increase and hope anyone who cares about our town does the same.
Walker argues that we should be using the current LOT funds toward housing rather than raising the LOT. What he misses is that it would be illegal for the city to simply reallocate funds; all LOT funds must be voted on. There is no other continuous revenue stream to housing other than the in-lieu housing fee. "Ketchum does not need more money"? That’s what someone with a lot of money and secure housing says.
His point about Ketchum selling the old city hall site is completely moot. That site is already being developed as Bluebird Village and cannot be sold or allocated differently.
"Ketchum does not deserve new money"? Ketchum is constantly getting new money, just not for those who live and work here. He means lower-income, housing-insecure people don't deserve money.
Lastly, his argument that "most occupants of workforce housing prefer Hailey over Ketchum" is so tone deaf I’m shocked he would put it in print. Most workforce housing occupants are forced to live in south Valley locations—that doesn't mean they don't want to live in Ketchum. It's a very privileged argument that certain "types" of people (i.e., poor, low-income, non-white) want to live together and not in places where rich, high-income, white people live.