Earth to Mountain Express! Your view, “Earth to Ketchum” (Aug. 9), sounded like Joe Biden’s statement, “We choose truth over facts!” You are both wrong. The local-option tax is meant to provide the extra services required by the large influx of tourists, which outnumber the residents most of the time. Otherwise, the residents would have to pay for those services. Those services are water, sewer, power, light, police protection, fire protection, streets, roads, sidewalks, etc. Marketing is not one of those services.
As Courtney Hamilton correctly stated, businesses, not government, should market the businesses. And, as Michael David stated, it is the city’s job to fill the potholes, a metaphor for those extra services. The editorial stated that businesses had proven that they could not market themselves and refused to pay for their own marketing. Why, then, should the tourists pay for those businesses to advertise to attract the tourists, themselves? Why should the residents pay for those businesses that refused to pay for their own marketing?
The local-option tax has been illegally used to pay for things that it was not meant to pay, such as the Sun Valley Marketing Alliance and the Sun Valley Air Service Alliance. Some of us went to court over that illegality. However, we did not have standing and could not proceed. The Idaho Constitution prohibits that illegal option tax spending.
Now, the city wants to pass a bond for a new city hall, police station and fire station, which the local-option tax could have been used for legally. I, for one, will not vote for it, if the city continues to waste money.
Jake Jacoby, Ketchum