Tell local officials: we need to invest in Cape Cod's future
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RE: Meeting municipal infrastructure and community investment needs with rental tax revenue

Dear Local Leaders,

Cape Cod towns are poised to receive a once-in-a-generation revenue infusion due to the inclusion of short-term rentals in the new occupancy tax law. We have one opportunity to ensure new revenue is used for long-agreed-upon, yet chronically underfunded infrastructure and community investment that Cape Codders need to thrive, now and into the future.

Our organizations, the Association to Preserve Cape Cod (APCC), Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, Cape Cod & Islands Association of REALTORSⓇ (CCIAOR), and Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC), have come together because we share a belief that the future of Cape Cod depends heavily on infrastructure improvements and community investment for future economic stability and environmental improvement. Now is the perfect time for local government to establish infrastructure banks and direct resources to long-term community investment. We ask all 15 Cape towns to adopt a local bylaw this spring directing at least 50% of the local option rooms excise tax to a discrete stabilization fund, earmarking that revenue for housing, wastewater, broadband, transportation, and competitive marketing of Cape Cod. Making long-term investments will dictate the economic viability and sustainability of Cape Cod and defer the use of property tax revenues for these needed projects, saving Cape Codders money.

To do this, we have crafted a model bylaw to segregate and protect new revenue exclusively for such long-term investments. Setting aside the new revenue before it gets absorbed into general operating budgets and before the ability to invest strategically in long-term municipal needs is lost is critical. We therefore ask both Selectmen and the Barnstable Town Council to exercise their authority to put this model bylaw up for consideration in 2019.

Adoption of this bylaw will achieve three goals:
- Create a sustainable source of investment in long-term needs that are traditionally underfunded and vital to the sustainability of each community;
- Ensure that critical investments are addressed without burdening taxpayers with increased property taxes. This will simultaneously increase property values, improve the environment and quality of life, and producing economic opportunity for all; and
- Support your commercial and industrial property tax base with the potential to grow that base with activities that increase employment and businesses in your town.

Unless the new rental tax revenues are protected, residents will not see any property tax relief. Dedicating this new money to long-term spending provides towns with more budget predictability and the ability to avoid relying on a fluctuating revenue source.

We must act now to ensure that year-round Cape Codders have access to housing, wastewater infrastructure is built swiftly, businesses and residents have access to high speed broadband, people can move around efficiently and reliably and we invest in the region’s tourism market share, in order to maintain this revenue stream.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

To view a copy of the original Future Cape Cod letter visit: www.futurecapecod.com
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