Wednesday, September 11, 2013

LOT increase would help economy

    As a resident of the valley, and a local business owner for over 32 years, I recently joined the Ketchum Tourism and Jobs Initiative, the group advocating for the 1 percent increase to the local option tax (LOT) in Ketchum. Now, more than ever, we need to take action to protect local jobs and encourage tourism, which, whether we like it or not, is an important component of our economy.
     Of course I’m interested in the success of my own business, but I also care about opportunities for my employees, as they struggle to make a living, figure out how to remain in the valley, own a home and raise a family here. The increase to the LOT is a small price to pay for a better chance at a brighter economic future.
     Increased air access will have a positive effect on both the number of visitors to the valley and the ability of existing residents and businesses to remain here. If we can attract a few more visitors, attract a few more full-time, year-round residents, and stop the flow of existing businesses out of the valley, the local economy will have a chance to rebound to the point where we can become the sustainable mountain community we all hope for.
    This initiative will enable our valley to reach out to new markets, giving folks there the opportunity to visit and ultimately decide this is a place they want to spend as much time as possible. 
     To volunteer or learn more, go to
Tom Nickel


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