Letter to the Editor: Government Power Shouldn’t Be Used to Fight STRs

There have been numerous well-meaning letters and town-meeting comments mourning the loss of a community atmosphere, with their solution centering on increasing the number of resident neighbors and reducing noise. 

If it were economically viable for them to have this choice of neighbors, they would presently exist. Those former neighbors are deceased, have gone to a warmer climate or have tax-fled to somewhere else. These properties, which may be vacant today, have been soaked up by rent-out-to-own risk-takers with mortgages. To use government power to fight economics and bring back used-to-be neighbors is a guaranteed fool’s errand.   

The new short-term-rental economic model is the contracted and taxed sharing of homes with people who want to visit and possibly can’t afford to support a vacation home in the county at this time. Would stopping the local governments from approving the building of more large, ticky-tacky housing complexes keep our traffic and restaurant lines from getting worse? This is the second-most-voiced concern I hear. 

Ray Spangler
Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin