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A cure for the common trophy home

Letter from Clay Warren

May 01 Central – May 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

Editors:

Man! Had ah known that yer supply o’ letters was gettin’ so short that yuh had to resort to usin’ some written by people who are practically employees to fill up the free space in the back, ah’s have come out of semi-enforced, retirement sooner. Ah think it was probably that Tao of Ed remark (fer Pete’s sake we spent millions on the curmudgeon campaign!) which was the last straw, although that would fit with the fibre art piece. And, hit seems like ole Slim Wolfe musta got hisself electerrified at last, er maybe he finally ran into the Wicked Witch o’ the South. In any event, ah always wundered where thet expression “he don’t know his ass from a hole in the ground” come from. Ah had assumed thet hit had a less erudite origin and now thanks to the most recent Colorado Central, ah know better.

Before ah comment further ’bout the contents o’ the April edition, ah wish to pass along an idea ma neighbor the rockologist — his business slogan is: We sell sarcasm; our advice is free and worth every penny you pay for it — has come up with to help stop the spread o’ them monster trophy homes, an without goin’ inta the questionable constitutional area that Aspen has.

He reckons that if you simply declare any building over 4,000 square feet to be commercial, you will solve the problem and help out the local small business community as well. See, under the rules of the Gallagher Amendment, commercial property has to pay 55% of the property taxes in any jurisdiction. Now down on the flatland where the Worldwide Webb is mayor (ain’t hit fun to pick on someone else’s girth?), this ain’t much of a problem because of the large amount of commercial property. However, the smaller the community, the more serious the disparity becomes and the more of a true burden hit is on small business’s which have to make up that difference in collected taxes. Furthermore, yuh kin justify thet decision based upon the fact that the larger structures require more government infrastructure, starting with firefighting capacity and goin’ up from thar. Imagine some 10K homeowner having to pay more in taxes than a lousy 8K hardware store!

While we’re on the subject o’ land use plannin’, ah have ta make a confession. In mah very furst letter to CC (the famous “Modest Solution Letter,” Issue #17), ah suggested a number o’ thangs to hep control the wrong kind o’ growth. Well, ah have to admit, ah stole the property Conversion Tax idea from the rockologist, and he’s helt hit over mah head fer years. But, ah’ve recently learned thet he stole hit from New Hampshire where they actually have such a law. So ah reckon hit all balances out in the end. However, ah do claim credit for the hantavirus idea, no matter what he says.

Hit seems to me thet this issue contains more then the usual number o’ behavior modification tidbits. Ah was particularly offended by the bird feeder admonition. Jist how else is a guy supposed to get his meat and hides effen he don’t use sugar? An George Sibley’s article about wood stoves is jist another o’ them damned if you do, damned if you don’t, situations. Never mind the dollar figures, if you can’t make yere own wood stove, pay fur hit. However if you make it a triple combuster all you emit is carbon dioxide gas and water, thereby causing glaciers to melt. If you don’t, yuh get them visible particulates which are unoxidized carbon, and in Telluride they’ll complain about second hand smoke. In either case George, yuh buy thet second hand Ford and everybody looses, ‘cept yer mechanic. Ever think about a pack burro?

Lastly, what with all the controversy over the SAT and other school testing, I’m glad to see that the editors of Colorado Central will not allow themselves to be intimidated by liberal opinions about knowing actual facts. Someday the knowledge that Granite was the first Seat of Chaffee County from which Bj√ľni stole hit, to be revealed in the forthcoming edition, will undoubtedly be of great value to a reader.

Yere’s ’til the mud dries up

Clay Warren

Pseudonymous in Poncha