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New Citizen Group Formed To Press For New Taxes
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'For A Better Loveland' is a group formed to promote a lodging tax in Loveland and perhaps a city convention center in or near Centerra.



Ironically, the Loveland Chamber of Commerce advertises the fact Loveland has no lodging taxes (a tax charged on hotel guests) in hope of attracting more visitors but as the same time helped to form a group to create a lodging tax!



Twice rejected by voters, Loveland's City Manager and other advocates of the tax have been working behind the scenes to create the appearance of wide public support. First, a citizen advisory committee presented the city council with a plan prepared largely by city staff and now a group looking to make things "better" will conclude this tax is needed after they stage a public meeting and input April 22.



Any comments?

 

(Note added April 15)  Ms. Stockman has announced she is now instead returning to her native Wyoming to live.

2008-04-09 20:00:25 GMT
Comments (10 total)
Author:Anonymous
My father-in-law stays at a local hotel when he visits, so a lodging tax WOULD cost my family something. (If it was any more expensive, he might have to stay at our house, & that would be an additonal imposing tax indeed!)
--Blaine
2008-04-12 04:17:21 GMT
Author:Anonymous
I take great exception to your story on the For A Better Loveland Inc.

You are wrong - Gaye Stockman's first decision as the Chair is going to make Loveland better - she is leaving back to Wyoming to live!

This will make Loveland BETTER since we don't need mindless cheerleaders for new taxes who worship at the altar of McWhinney.

I can't wait for Tony Adams, Don Williams and the Mayor to announce how they will make Loveland BETTER! Just leave!
--Carol
2008-04-12 13:49:43 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Carol, your words appear harsh and are unwelcoming.

I have a question. How much can the City of Loveland save by closing the Housing Authority and selling all the public housing that competes with the private sector? We would not only save the cost of subsidized housing but since the city of Loveland is the largest landlord in town we could get all these apartments they built onto the tax rolls!

We don't really need any new taxes but need to stop the socialists on the city council. Their 'affordable housing' is a socialist move costing us millions of dollars.

Let the private sector work and they will be amazed how many tax dollars they can collect with taxes already in-place.

Loveland has no shortage of taxes just a shortage of councilors who understand private enterprise.

New taxes for transportation, lodging or any other area are not necessary if the city just sells all the 'affordable' housing projects that are magnets for welfare moms to come to Loveland.

We have the resources just not the will. Don't make me pay for their socialist dreams!!!!
--Carl J.
2008-04-13 14:25:20 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Carl J , it really seems that you have it backward. While I don't want to be a cheerleader for public housing d challenge you to compare how much the city has spent on affordable housing with what they've given away to rich developers. That's right, just take a few, like the McWhinneys. How many millions of taxes were they allowed to take? I think the Reporter Herald reported over $500 million! That's just one developer and one project.

You say "private enterprise". Well I'm all for it. But you don't seem to have a problem with socialism for the rich. That's right. We build their schools WITH OUR HIGHER TAXES, so they can attract homebuyers. We build their dang roads, and when they get crowded with their business customers and homebuyers, they want us to tax ourselves more to expand them. Our water rates and sewer rates go up so they can add capacity there. So tell me again about socialism, friend. When you stand up and fight against corporate welfare, then I'll know you're honest.
--Herm
2008-04-17 23:29:40 GMT
Author:Anonymous
I have 3 issues with the proposed new tax:
First, it's born out of greed & feeds on spite. Second, it funnels money to those who don't need it from those who don't have a choice. Three, it accomplishes exactly the opposite effects vs. what is advertised.
1. BORN OF GREED; FEEDS ON SPITE - The McWhinney organization has received astonishing amounts, something like $600 million, from Loveland taxpayers & area residents through the Milenium Plan, special taxing districts, tax increment financing, tax & fee waivers, and other public largesse not available to anyone else. Asking the city for even more money would strain credulity... if past city officials hadn't been so easily swayed, that is. Even so, this effort cannot succeed w/o creating an "eye for an eye" mentality among residents by offering the proposition that since they're being taxed in this fashion to visit Disney, New Your City, or Washington D.C., they should do the same. Appealing to voters basest instincts is not the path of great public policy, though. Rather, as Ghandi said, "an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind."
2. FUNNELS MONEY WRONGLY
Those proposing a convention center are in it to make money, and I'm all for that. If they take the risk, they should get the reward - a big one, I hope. The problem is that they aren't taking the risk, everyone else is. Everybody who stays in Loveland pays for some Taj Mahal of a place that allegedly will do something good for the city. Private enterprise doesn't work that way. If it's good for the developer, they should develop it, make a ton of money, & any ancillary benefit to others is just that, an unintended byproduct. If the business plan is too weak to stand on its own w/o taxpayer subsidy, then it shouldn't be built.
3. EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE EFFECTS
Last summer, my wife's family had a reunion in Estes Park. Dozens of people descended on this area from out of state. They searched for motel rooms suitable to house them all for a night, so they could congregate, buy groceries & supplies, then caravan up to Estes together. Since the same franchises have motels in numerous front range cities, the choices were almost identical in quality & price. Almost, that is, except for taxes. They chose Loveland precisely because it had lower taxes on those rooms. The next morning, they spent several thousand dollars on food & supplies before caravanning up Hwy 34, also because of the tax issue. They knew Estes Park would charge more in sales taxes to buy the same things there, so they bought them here. Long story short, basic economics is already at work here, giving local retailers business they wouldn't see if taxes went up. Simple logic argues that if you tax something, you will get less of it. Disney, Washington, & New York have something that can't be duplicated. If Loveland tries the same thing, would-be customers will just drive a few more miles down the road. This is an AWEFUL idea for residents, and especially for our small businesses.
--Kevan McNaught
2008-04-19 23:33:04 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Why is there always the assumption that there is a hidden agenda? The information provided is part truth and part theory - therefore, misleading. The For a Better Loveland group as asked for outside participation. Why not attend a meeting and see for yourself? I guess it's easier to take pot shots than it is to speak from first hand knowledge. I'll bet you don't post this either!
--Fed up with your assumptions
2008-04-24 15:33:21 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Could someone please direct me to the place I might find where it states in fact that this lodging tax would be used for a convention center. Also, could you direct me to the place where it is stated in fact that the McWhinneys are looking for a convention center paid for by the lodging tax

--Lorna
2008-04-25 20:29:22 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Lorna- below is quoted from the Reporter-Herald

"For a Better Loveland Inc. registered with the Colorado Secretary of State on Feb. 26, after meeting informally for months. Their first public meeting will be on April 22.

“Our first agenda item is a convention and visitors bureau, but we see real value in the organization to address other needs in the future,” said member Gaye Stockman, the CEO and president of Loveland Chamber of Commerce. “This is not a one-shot thing, but is looking long term.”

The bureau would be used to attract outside money into the community, according to a For A Better Loveland release.

What part of "first agenda item" do you not understand? Attracting outside money is the set-up for claiming it will bring investments (true)in Grand Station. Granted the office to handle visitors and conventions is first and than the actual center.

Last year this blog said McWhinney would let go lots of employees by end of April due to cash-flow problems while the Herald reported the party line instead. This blog was right. On the lodging tax the Herald and these people seem to agree on the purpose not to mention the founder of the pro-tax group.

--Ben
2008-04-25 20:53:11 GMT
Author:Anonymous
What in the hell is the matter with all of you people? SERIOUSLY!! I have lived in many cities; big, small, rural, and suburban. And never in my life have I seen a place so intent on self destruction. I retired here 6 years ago; have attended community functions, been to a few boards and commissions meetings, even sat in on City meetings a couple of times a couple of years ago. Thought I had moved to a really decent area... until I looked under the carpet. If this site, the Herald, the Connection, et al, cannot or will not support some of the efforts that ordinary citizens are trying to participate in, then you will always remain a city with not only a lack of participation, but you will regress back to the hick town and mentality that you show here. My congratulations on being one of the most inaccurate, misinformed sites on the internet. I have to agree with the anonymous statement above.. why don't you go and attend several of these "agendas" you speak about before sticking your foot in your mouth.
--FED UP
2008-04-29 05:28:09 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Dear Fed Up

I suspect the average people who contribute to this website are slightly better educated and more sophisticated than most people who call the RH Line to defend hotel taxes and you.

Your assumption that this website represents the “hicks” in Loveland couldn’t be further from the truth. It is the “hicks” who get excited about making money by pouring concrete for another strip mall that are responsible for ruining Loveland. They are looking to a very modest near-term profit and trading it for both the quality of life and future of our community.

Gaye Stockman, Tony Adams, Stan Matsunaka and the other lodging tax stooges were hoping people were really stupid enough to believe that average citizens come together to spend their own time and money promoting a tax for the community that will never benefit them. I look at this more like the police investigate a crime – who has the motive.

If Gaye and the others were raising money for the House of Neighborly Service or Salvation Army, I might agree with you. But your pretending this is some spontaneous effort meant to help our community insults the intelligence of the readers of this blog who really are smarter than former Councilwoman Jan Brown.

Encouraging landscaping in the traffic medians, building more parks, charging developers traffic mitigation fees instead of waiving them and other general efforts aimed at improving the community are more reasonable objectives for a group calling itself “For A Better Loveland Inc.”

I make far beyond six figures and could choose to live in many other places. Like you, I was not born in Loveland but came for the amenities and small town atmosphere. Unlike you, I am not a stooge for sophisticated developers looking to make a quick buck at the expense of everyone else. This website is a breath of fresh air for those of us who don’t want to read press releases and false self-serving declarations by an interested few.

Thank God for LovelandPolitics and free speech in America. I do have empathy for you and your frustrations. Pulling the wool over people’s eyes has become much more difficult a task recently. Especially when the Reporter-Herald writes great Editorials like the one last Saturday.

--Not Fed-Up
2008-04-29 15:30:41 GMT
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