Wednesday, November 24, 2010

BCRD shouldn't compete with private business

Last Wednesday, I attended the open house for the new Blaine County Recreation District's new "FitWorks" fitness center. It is truly an attractive, contemporary, well-equipped facility.

Coincidentally, when I returned home I opened my Blaine County property tax bill and noticed that 1.76 percent of my property taxes go to the recreation district. As a small business owner trying to keep my business above water in these economic times, I have sympathy for my fellow taxpayers and small-business owners in Hailey who own facilities similar to "FitWorks" (I count three private businesses, there may be more). Is it really necessary that my tax dollars fund a facility that directly competes for customers with private businesses? Certainly this space could have been used for something more appropriate that still fulfills the recreation district's mission statement.

I'm thankful for the bike path, the pump park, Quigley Nordic, etc. This is what a functioning local government does. They make our valley a wonderful place to live and I'll willingly pay property taxes for this. However, I don't believe tax dollars should be used to compete against private business.

Steve Edsall


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