Monday, June 05, 2023

Letters to the editor March 5

| March 5, 2023 12:00 AM

Housing bills

Regarding the Inter Lake editorial about the housing crisis Feb. 26, they are correct in saying some bills in the Legislature should be advanced, and some shouldn’t.

Unfortunately, they’re wrong in lauding HB 430, which would place a 0.25% tax on short-term rentals. Even the bill’s supporters admit that the monies raised would be far too small to make a difference.

Those monies would be used to subsidize other landlords that choose to offer longer term rentals. The bill plays “Robin Hood” by taking from one group and giving to another. It’s just more forced welfare that, predictably, will make no significant difference in housing needs or affordability.

The housing problems are real, but latching on to any and every answer, no matter how bad or insufficient that answer might be, is a knee-jerk act of desperation, not a well thought out approach to real solutions.

It seems to me that proper zoning would protect the safety and integrity of neighborhoods, restricting where short term rentals are allowed, thus providing more opportunity for long term rentals. This has already been implemented in many areas, including in Whitefish. And it does it without giving government the opportunity to add yet another tax.

History shows us that a tax, once implemented, will never go away, and it’ll never get smaller. It only gets bigger and more wasteful as it devours more and more of our incomes. Please tell your legislators to vote against this ill-conceived, ineffective tax.

— Doug Adams, Whitefish

Republican candidates

The Inter Lake article on Feb. 26 points out that Speaker of the House Rep. Matt Regier said he wished Racicot would have been more transparent about his separation from the GOP.

Regier has the move backward. The GOP not only separated from Racicot but also separated from a large body of independents and centrists. As an independent myself, I look forward to the GOP once again advancing fiscally conservative, but also upstanding nominees, who I might once again vote for.

— David Martin, Whitefish

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