Letter to the Editor

Tax- exempt religious groups are buying large tracts of land in Teller County and then conducting tax free businesses at the taxpayer’s expense. Church groups are going way beyond their stated goals of ministering to people who seek the redemption they promise. Now, buildings are for rent for weddings, family reunions and other groups that bring in hundreds of people every weekend to use the roads and infrastructure we all pay for, yet these groups pay nothing for the services they demand and the damage they cause. Want to rent a cabin, or park your RV? It’s all available from a church that pays nothing for maintenance on the road that leads there.
Sharon Roshek will come to any planning commission meeting with her magic bag of unverifiable statistics that profess to show what a benefit these groups are to Teller County and how much money these people spend here. The fact is, that these people are coming to a wedding or a reunion to spend time at that location. They are not tourists.
Teller County Commissioners must enact an impact fee for all tax-exempt groups who impact everyone who lives in this county. It is not fair to ask the taxpayers to subsidize people whose goals may or may not coincide with their own personal philosophy. To ask emergency providers to respond (and often) to facilities that pay no tax to help them operate is ludicrous. There should be no free ride for anyone, especially tax-exempt groups who compete with legitimate businesses.
Steve Storrs

Divide, CO. 80814