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Letter to the Editor - from Ryan Nye

Article Date: 
5 July, 2013 (All day)

To concerned tax payers:   The Morgan County Council just passed up another economic opportunity based on self interest.
I recently read the article on short-term rentals that the county council debated.  
As for the comments from Councilwoman Kelley, that she wants what is best for and protect the community, that I question.  Is protecting the community not allowing commercial development into the county?  Let me explain.  
The Johnsons wanted to develop their ground that is in the Mtn. Green city center.  The county rezoned this property to CD years ago.  This would allow them to have mixed use of residential and commercial.  The development doesn’t contain very much commercial space and the Johnson’s proposal would allow residential units to be built within six feet of each other.  
Councilwoman Kelley doesn’t have a problem with this, but she does have a problem with renting them out and being able to collect property tax at 100 percent (commercial rate) versus 55 percent (residential rate)?
Remember the school and the county is in a budget shortfall.  By not allowing short-term rentals that would be managed by a property management company, the six foot area between the homes WILL become a storage area for the home owner.  
I understand in a standard residential development where lots are quarter acre in size, rentals probably shouldn’t be allowed, but look at the development.  I would dare to guess that a lot if not most of these units will be a second residence, time share, or rental and should be taxed at a commercial tax rate, but again Kelley said this would be too hard to determine.  What????   
The difference in tax on these units add up to be around $465,000 more in tax revenue (based on $175,000 per unit value).  The development is in a commercial area, has total appearance to be commercial, so why not tax it commercial and let the home owner declare to the county it is his or her primary residence, then drop it to a residential rate?  
The planning and zoning office confirmed that everything in this letter is factual.
~ Ryan Nye