On May 17, Ketchum voters have the chance to vote in favor of increases in the Local Option Tax to support workforce housing. The city of Ketchum is also finalizing a Housing Action Plan, which, with the help of our community, can have a lasting impact on our town.
I often hear people say that Ketchum is changing. I would agree that we have had significant change in the last two years. Our friends and neighbors who struggle to live and work in our community, delivering the vital services we all need, and the world class amenities many of us so enjoy, need to know that we have their back. We are a kind and generous community. It’s been stated that housing is infrastructure. We need to elevate housing to the same level as public safety, public works and health care.
The LOT increases will provide almost $3 million a year for workforce housing. Sun Valley Economic Development estimates that 80% of the increase will be borne by tourists. We need to do what other mountain towns have been doing for so long. The proposed increase in LOT taxes are: 0.75% on retail purchases (not groceries), 2% on hotels and short-term rentals, and 1% on building materials (excluding materials for workforce housing).