So let me get this straight. New tolls on the bridge, new local taxes on short term rentals, new state taxes on short AND long term rentals. How about we put up a sign "Visitors and Investors: Keep Out".
How, in this economic climate, can any political body think it is prudent to put additional pressure on our fragile local economy?
While it is true that bed and breakfast establishments pay business taxes, they also have the VERY lucrative option of renting weekly. Residential landlords do not.
Also, how do we encourage investors to come to this area and purchase/rehab distressed properties, when we continually slap new taxes onto the already outrageous property taxes people pay in this area?
How do we encourage visitors when we ticket them at every turn, gouge them for parking, increase bridge tolls, treat them as foreign invaders, and make their stay here as expensive as possible?
How do businesses survive (and thrive) when our local and state government does everything it can to discourage visitors and investors from even coming here? The answer is: we can't. This madness needs to stop before we destroy the amazing thing we have here.
I know it can be tempting to say "Yeah, tax those guys! Make them pay their fair share!" However, when they run out of "those" people's money (and they will), they will be back for more of yours.
Drive around Newport and look at all the commercial space for rent or lease. Look at how many property owners are treading water (or completly submerged).
Do you think hitting them with additional taxes will help or hurt this situation?
We need to make it easier for businesses to succeed (more people paying taxes). We also need to make this a tourist friendly environment (businesses make more money and therefore pay more in taxes).
Seems pretty simple to me.