Cassie Patterson responds to three housing questions

The Times-Independent asked each of the ten remaining candidates for Moab City Council three questions regarding housing and taxation. Seven of the candidates responded, two of them after press time. Here is a link to the full story.

Cassie Patterson

How do you plan to close the gap between rents and incomes in Moab? Is the right approach to raise incomes, lower rents, or both? How would you do either of those things?

Artificially raising income isn’t the proper solution, that would only hurt small businesses and result in companies cutting back on employees, however, lowering rent amounts could be something to look into.

A significant reason the city has unaffordable rents is low-density housing. Much of the city is zoned for single-family houses, which are unaffordable for most residents. The zones for apartment complexes and other high-density housing options are severely limited. Do you view this as a problem? How would you address it?

It has been my opinion that we need more high-density housing for some time but I’m aware there are many people who aren’t willing to have apartment complexes within the vicinity of their homes. With the state we’re in, at some point someone has to say enough is enough and accept that they will have to have things in their backyard.

The City of Moab does not directly benefit from increasing property values because it does not levy a property tax, making it largely dependent on tourism for tax revenue. Should the city levy a property tax? Explain.

A property tax right now doesn’t strike me as something we need, based solely on the large amount of funding we receive from tourism alone. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t change my mind on that in the future should the revenue from tourism ever dwindle but more taxes aren’t currently a plan I support.