Friday, May 24

The Crestone Eagle is a nonprofit monthly newspaper serving Crestone and the San Luis Valley

Commentary: Frequent visitor is a business owner, employer

By Michael Booth

To the Town of Crestone:

I am a frequent visitor to the Town of Crestone. I enjoy the closeness of your community, the access to a wide variety of services, and the culture. I often wonder what it would feel like to be a citizen of your town, and how I would participate in everything Crestone has to offer. You are so lucky to live in your town. I live in the Baca, off Badger Road. Not far from your town. That’s probably the reason I visit your town so much, because I live pretty darn close. I also own a business in your town. I employ some of your residents and provide them with income for everything needed to live comfortably. I provide services in your town, so that you and your fellow citizens have the benefits of community and culture. I also pay taxes to your town, some of the highest in the state of Colorado, so that you can have infrastructure such as a Town Hall, Town employees, clean streets and parks, and so on. I wish I had citizenship in your town, like you. If I did, I would definitely do some things differently. I would celebrate my town and community. I would build a unique culture that outsiders would admire and talk about. I would want to be called Colorado Unique. I would embrace my existence and share with the world just how special it is to be called a Crestonian. Imagine tourists coming to town, experiencing that culture. Bringing much needed cash flow to local businesses like artists, musicians, shops, yoga instructors, and curators of all things Crestone. Imagine the tax revenue that would be generated, to bring even more infrastructure, pay off Town debt, ensure long-term water and sanitation resources. 

Imagine music in the air and dancing in the streets. Happy smiles at every corner, the smell of wonderful cuisine from local restaurants, children playing together in the park. Imagine a vibrant community where people travel from afar to experience for themselves because they don’t have that where they live. Imagine…%$&!@!

I just woke up. What was I thinking? I live in the Baca, not Crestone. I am not a citizen of Crestone. I do not have voting rights in Crestone. I am just a visitor and a key taxpayer. And I don’t see that vibrant culture when I come to your town. Don’t get me wrong, I love Crestone. But ya’ll need to get your act straight. You receive significant taxes from many financial streams such a local business, and ya’ll don’t support businesses. You don’t participate in Colorado Tourism, Destination Stewardship, economic development, or any sustainable future for your town. Also, no festivals (tax income stream), including the unique Dark Sky designation celebration, no live outdoor music (tax income stream), no business development (tax income stream).

How do you plan to survive? I can’t continue to pay your tax rate without some benefit. It’s just good business to wag your tail for the hand that feeds you. Maybe I could just pay you off with a one-time cash offer, and then under the table we could make some sort of clandestine deal that could benefit both of us? I am at a loss. Your feedback would be appreciated. 

Help me help you. 

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