I am that rara avis, a low-income Boulder homeowner. The only reason I am here is that I bought a house over 40 years ago, and through old-fashioned manual labor, paid off two mortgages and years of escalating property-tax bills. Can you imagine how I feel when I hear that the city's affordable housing policies involve taking properties off the tax rolls, compelling the other property owners make up the difference in revenue? Property tax is already regressive taxation, but when my taxes are incrementally increased to subsidize housing for people with greater incomes than mine, it becomes a reverse Robin Hood scheme. So I ask you, when you make plans for affordable housing, that those plans don't actually make housing less affordable for people already living here who are poorer than those you are trying to help.
It has not escaped my notice in the half-century I've lived here that the city has encouraged, and continues to encourage, the construction of thousands of units of new office space, without provision for housing the people who work in those offices and adequate parking for their automobiles. Now, we are constantly told that there is a "housing crisis" and a "parking crisis." These are not crises, but deliberately created shortages. There is, in fact, a movement to "open Boulder," which I see as an attempt to monetize the fruits of Boulder's long history of wise policies of moderating development, and the preservation of the town and its quality of life.It is nothing more than a push for the kind of development Boulder has resisted for years, and a philosophy of making the people who don't share in the wealth flowing from this development sacrifice for it.
I also don't appreciate certain activists pushing what the Camera has called a "new political climate" in Boulder suggesting that opponents of the new order are just a bunch of rich old farts. I'm far from rich.
Earl Noe lives in Boulder.