Former Routt County Commissioner Running for Congress
|Current Democratic State Representative and former longtime Routt County Commissioner and Diane Mitsch Bush of Steamboat Springs has announced plans to challenge Republican Congressman Scott Tipton for Colorado's 3rd Congressional District seat in the 2018 election.
Mitsch Bush was first elected to the statehouse in 2012. She currently serves as chairwoman of the House Transportation Committee and vice chair of the House Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee. During her tenure at the state capitol she has consistently emphasized her track record as a legislator who has been able to work across the aisle with her Republican counterparts. Her district encompasses Routt and Eagle counties, where Democrats outnumber Republicans.
Tipton defeated Democratic challenger and former state legislator Gail Schwartz of Crested Butte in the 2016 election. Tipton also defeated Democratic incumbent John Salazar in 2010. 3rd District voters, who span Colorado's Western Slope plus Pueblo, Cuter and Huerfano counties on the Front Range, have voted for Republicans in the last five presidential elections.
Community revitalization workshop to be held in Craig
Economic development departments for Routt, Rio Blanco and Moffat counties have partnered with Community Builders and the Colorado Department of Public Health to host a workshop focused on community revitalization.
The half-day workshop will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 27 at the Memorial Regional Hospital Conference Room in Craig. The discussion will bring community leaders, planners, developers and property owners together to explore potential paths to redevelopment through reuse of vacant sites and buildings.
For additional information about the event and to register, visit communitybuilders.org/how-we-help/training/craig-community-revitalization-workshop.
Steamboat Seeks Input on how to Spend Tax Reserve Fund
The City of Steamboat Springs is accepting proposals for how to spend an estimated $1.186 million in the Accommodations Tax Reserve Fund. Proposals must be focused on an improvement or amenity that draws additional visitors to Steamboat Springs. The 2A accommodations tax ballot language restricts the use of the first $600,000 in accommodation tax dollars between 2014 and 2023 to trail projects and development of Workman Park on Yampa Street.
But, any tax revenues in excess of the $600,000 each year may be spent at the discretion of city council on projects authorized by the 1986 public accommodations tax ballot question which includes:
- Only a capital project or capital improvement qualify
- Promote tourism in Steamboat Springs
- Enhance the vitality of Steamboat Springs as a destination resort
- Enhance the community identity of Steamboat Springs
- Enhance the environmental desirability of Steamboat Springs
- Enhance the economic health of Steamboat Springs
An Accommodations Tax Reserve Fund Committee will review submitted ideas; and, then make a recommendation to city council on how the funds should be allocated. Applications may request all or a portion of the available funds. The dollars in this fund come from a 1% tax on lodging accommodations of less than 30 days. Since 1986, public accommodations tax funds have been used to construct the original Tennis "Bubble", the Strings Music Festival tent and the Haymaker Golf Course and Clubhouse. In 2013, the final payment was made on the golf course and the annual collection became available for future trail projects.
The formal request for proposals is posted on the city website: http://bit.ly/2qjJKQv. Proposals must include the formal application cover page, narrative, and attachments. All respondents must submit one original (with original signatures), one hard copy and one PDF electronic copy of the response to the RFP by 5pm on or before August 10, 2017. Respondents shall not knowingly submit an incomplete response.
NAR Submits Statement on Housing Finance Reform
On June 29, 2017, the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs held its first of several hearings of the year on housing finance reform. The hearing, entitled "Principles of Housing Finance Reform" consisted of three witness panelists from the Mortgage Bankers Association, Housing Policy Counsel of the Financial Services Roundtable, and Center for Responsible Lending.
NAR submitted a statement highlighting that any new housing finance system must ensure that in all markets mortgage capital will always remain available for creditworthy Americans. Second, NAR stated that taxpayer dollars should be protected.
In order to shield taxpayers and ensure a steady flow of capital into the mortgage market in both good times and bad, NAR urged lawmakers to convert the Enterprises into government-chartered, non-shareholder owned authorities that are subject to tighter regulations on products, profitability, and minimal retained portfolio practices in a way that ensures the protection of taxpayer monies.
NARs statement can be found here: http://narfocus.com/billdatabase/clientfiles/172/1/2929.pdf
NAR Joins Coalition to Preserve Net Neutrality
NAR has joined a coalition of businesses and public interest groups working to preserve Open Internet rulesalso known as network neutrality. NAR together with tech companies like Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon and main street companies like Walmart have joined together to advocate for preserving net neutrality. The coalition will work at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in the courts and on Capitol Hill to ensure that internet remains an open and level playing field, an issue critical to our business success.
Net neutrality is shorthand for the concept that Internet users should be in control of what content they view and what applications they use on the Internet. More specifically, net neutrality requires that broadband networks be free of restrictions on content, sites, or platforms. Networks should not restrict the equipment that may be attached to them, nor the modes of communication allowed on them. Finally, networks should ensure that communication is not unreasonably degraded by other communication streams.
Net neutrality is important to small, main street businesses like REALTORS® who depend on open internet access every day to run their businesses and serve their customers.
NAR supports net neutrality and urges Congress to oppose legislation that would threaten the current FCC Open Internet Rule and rollback the important protections put in place by the FCC in 2015.
More information on NARs involvement in this discussion can be found here: https://www.nar.realtor/topics/net-neutrality
Public Affairs Report
Nick Bokone, SBBR Public Affairs Consultant