By Tommy Acosta
Sedona AZ (May 6, 2020) – Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. That’s basically it, in bringing tourism back to Sedona.
With a shortfall of $10 million dollars in revenue that the city is forecast to suffer, Sedona will find itself in desperate need of tax dollars if the management and infrastructure of the city is to be maintained.
Tourists can solve that problem. And we all know this is the truth.
Businesses, hotels and restaurants produce the tax dollars the city needs. Only tourism can get the businesses going again. This is an undisputable fact, like it or not.
Basically, the city will go bankrupt without tourism and the time frame of reaching critical mass, where we cannot regain what we lost, is almost upon us.
Yet, bringing in tourists from all over, allowing them in our restaurants and shops and hotels, increases the chance of a coronavirus infestation in Sedona, where we locals who up until recently avoided the scourge, find ourselves now threatened.
It’s a Mexican standoff. We need the tourist to survive yet we need them to stay away to live.
It’s a microcosm of the macrocosm now being played out across the country. What the hell can the business do without customers? What can the city do without a budget? What would Sedona do without people?
So perhaps a high-wire approach is the only way — a careful walk right down the middle of that rope, balancing the need for money against the need for life.
It can be argued that the death by virus pales in comparison to death by starvation.
The thing is, in not too much time, desperation for sustenance will set in. People are presently being motivated to lock themselves in by fear. However, a much greater motivator than fear is hunger.
With our businesses dying, no money flowing, nobody working, those living on the edge that have no recourse are going to do whatever they must to eat.
If access to food is thus limited, there is no doubt there will be riots. People will bang on the castle doors for crumbs.
And that’s when the real clamp down begins. As the food riots start to spread across the nation and in Sedona the amount of force the government will need to apply to quell them depends on the desperation of those scrambling for food.
The argument that the virus must be eradicated and any cost also has its valid points.
This thing can kill us three times over according to those supporting the strict lockdown policies. If left unchecked there will not be enough people left to rebuild our business and our country. Burying our dead will become our biggest industry. If we don’t do what we must to stop the virus humanity is doomed, they say.
No sacrifice is too big. Whatever we must do or lose in the process, like our rights to assembly, etc., has to happen for humanity to survive, we are told.
What to do? What to do? It all depends on me and you!
Should we just say “screw it” and throw all caution to the wind? Ignore the virus and go back to living the way we did before it came? Or should we become even more aggressive in enforcing the shut down policies until it’s gone?
To “tourist” or “not to tourist,” that is the question.
Damnation or Salvation. Take your pick.
With no humanity and empathy we are doomed. Personal responsibility is now all that matters. Those that aren’t personally responsible for their loved ones and for those they represent will have a hard time explaining to their grandchildren why they didn’t protect humanity and Planet Earth.
I am sure that conservative crackpot Sanford Bach will chime in with his bs soon.
I look forward to the debate SB.
[Edited by Staff. Sedona.biz does not tolerate insults and name-calling.], it’s not about empathy. It’s about micro-chipping every last one of you draft dodging leftovers from the 60s. And of course culling you waste products from the face of the planet. Sedona, unfortunately, is full of you mystical mutants thinking your dumb philosophy can fix this planet. You probably did not noticed the big Trump rally this weekend in Sedona. The times they are a changing. Look at you now, those who used to fight against the war and government abuse. Remember how you used to call those who followed government orders sheep. Now you have become the sheep you once berated. Democrats were once the party of those which progressive ideas. You have become the party of regressive fear. I can’t tell you haw satisfying it is to watch you become so meek.
I reckon that if the media had kept quiet, this would have already been over, just like a short seasonal flu.
We know ‘death’ figures have been massaged. Listen back over news clips to how many patients have died ‘with’ the virus and not ‘of’ the virus.
Listen to Dr. Judy Mikovits, a foremost expert in this field and see things in a new perspective.
This ‘virus’ has been weaponised by the media causing people to live in fear, to willingly isolate themselves, maintain anti-social distancing and even snitch on those not complying with guidelines.
I have often wondered how it was so many people were so compliant in Germany in the 1940’s … I look around and now I know.
Right now, the so-called ‘solution’ is worse than the ‘problem’.
Not only Sedona but worldwide.
Wake up, open up … but take care. Wash hands before meals, after bathroom breaks and so on (which should be usual activities anyway) and get the economy moving again.
Critical point is reached. Open up or shut down.
My Love to all …
Another example of idiocy spouted by a QAnon sycophant. Don’t try your Jedi tricks on me, Upside Down man.
Interesting theory…just how does “weaponization” by the media prevent the virus responsible for Covid-19 infections from behaving like a seasonal flu which would be mostly gone by now. Does it feed on website clicks, newsprint, and network airtime?
In the end, we all die when our heart stops beating. As we are learning, Covid-19 is for more than a lung infection. When the body has been ravaged throughout all of it’s organ systems by the virus, and finally can sustain life no more, is it meaningful to claim the person died with Covid-19 rather than from Covid-19? I think not.
That said, I agree that it is time to open up. Those at greater risk are well advised to remain cautious, and should not be shamed for their valid concerns.
Re “Weaponisation by the media”
Simple: we mostly behave according to what we believe.
The media tels us what it (or it’s masters) want us to believe, true or not.
If we believe what we are told and behave accordingly – they are controling our behaviour.
Social engineering 101. Or, if you prefer, psychological warfare.
Thus ‘they’ can get whole populations living in fear and when a population is living in fear is is easy to control and manipulate and create chaos and confusion and enable divisions amongst the people to such an extent that families break up and long-term relationships can be destroyed.
Recommendation: chuck the Idiot’s Lantern in the dumpster along with all the other rubbish.
Belief is for those who are not sure. And I’m not sure if you are a Jeremiah Perez induced hallucination so I’m going to believe you are actually real for the duration of this conversation.
Can’t you see it is hopeless for you guys? The element you accuse me of being a part of has been in complete and utter control since the beginning of time. There have always been the stronger and the weaker.
We are highly evolved humans vibrating at a frequency far above most. We are not the same as you. We are your tenders and herders. We are your leaders. Feast or famine, in the end it is up to us.
You guys, you and Perez, keep thinking you can see through the veil of your control. You can’t. It’s deep in your unconscious. You dance to the tune of our authority whether you fight it or not. You are gathering crumbs from under the table, excluded from the meal above.
? Some interesting beliefs there …
Have never heard a better argument for a property tax. We shouldn’t, as residents, be solely dependent on tourist dollars. Depending on someone else to pay for us takes away our independence and our voice. We sell our souls in order to avoid $500, or $1,000 or $1,500/annually (seems like a lot, but how much do you pay for a new couch or bed or vacation?) Relying solely on tourism dollars makes for poor political decisions. Instead of asking the question “what is good for our city and our residents”, a city that gets money only from sales tax will ask “how do we get more money? Will this “developer” that is petitioning to come into our city, return money to our coffers? Basically, how can we get MORE (have you EVER heard a business owner say they’ve made enough money? Will decisions about “re-opening” benefit those who live here? or our businesses?” Property tax puts the reins back in the hands of the people who live here. Think about it….
Perhaps relying on tourists is what got Sedona where it is in the first place. More timeshares, motels and b&bs required more infrastructure. Sedona is the church built for Easter Sunday – maximum available occupancy for maximum income. Perhaps property taxes or grocery taxes or fairly taxing the timeshares would offset the loss of revenue. It would seem many in Sedona would prefer to fill all the available rooms all the time, without any regard for the residents who bought there for the beauty and solitude, rather than gridlock and pollution.
As to the conspiracy theorists – may you never have someone you care for become infected with this or any other illness, spread by human contact – not the media.
property taxes or grocery taxes or fairly taxing the timeshares would offset the loss of revenue. Tom great idea Im in how do we do it?
Interesting perspective as always Tommy. We certainly dug into city finances, and costs during the PBA issue and the city budget.
Where is the conversation of the city spending less money? We found out that cities larger than ours had lower budgets and less people.
SIM – $30 to $40 million over 10 years over and above normal operations. Tourist driven.
We still give $2.2 million or so the the Chamber to drive tourism? I think the Chamber gave some of that back. Wasn’t that nice, giving some of our tax money back. What is the current situation?
We are building a parking garage?
How has the city reduced staff? We have a “Sustainability” employee. Probably a nice person. Why? The last time I was at a council meeting she gave us a chart on how the Southwest was getting dryer. Hello, we’re in the high desert. Native Americans left a long time ago when the water stopped coming form the sky.
If tourism goes down, and it probably will not, but if it does, all the money we are spending over the standard budget to run a city needs to be looked at.
And the bed tax is supposed to cover the overage and promotion of the city. They come to play – they pay. If I recall, before the tourist flood, we managed to do quite well with budget and expenses.
If you lose revenue – you CUT expenses. Sorry – business has to do it, and so does government, especially ours.
Stop looking for more tax dollars from residents. The county raises the MAX 5% taxable valuation every year – (which some counties in this country have not had to do).
You have to ask for a city whose population has basically been stagnate for 20 years – what is driving the expenses and revenue.
This are opening up. It is summer. ALL viruses hate heat and sun. Go out, enjoy and practice being responsible.
Thanks for weighing in. I always appreciate your perspective. My issue is that the hospitality and restaurant industries in Sedona seem to be the go-to businesses for city revenue.
Meanwhile, timeshares do not pay the same tax rates as hotels in AZ and, the fact that in Sedona they can go buy their groceries tax-free and then take the food back to their rooms and cook, avoiding restaurants, while increasing the need for infrastructure, is a constant financial burden on many Sedona businesses.
I agree cuts need to be made. I believe Sustainable Tourism was made up to increase the chamber of commerce budget. People around the world already know about Sedona and will come here with or without advertising.
Air b&b will soon be promoting Sedona heavily, as with timeshares, taking revenue out of hotels and restaurants and continuing to add to the burden of those industries. The city has refused to open their eyes and address the loss of revenue the timeshare and b&b businesses cause.
All the best. Stay inside. Stay safe.
Interesting perspective Mr. Schroeder. What’s really interesting is that you think that you know all the answers. You tend to think that you are the smartest person in the room;
YOU knew more about traffic and roads and were one of the elitists who had better ideas of how 179 should be rebuilt. Wow, your idea looks great but it sure holds traffic. Why didn’t you push for passing lanes to those ADOT folks back then? I guess you didn’t have a vision that Sedona was and continues to be a tourist town, not a sleepy town.
YOU thought that you knew more about lights on 89a and fought hard to keep the lights out so that you wouldn’t have to see the bounce-back of lights with your telescope on the hillside. FAILED
YOU thought you knew more about that PBA because YOU were the smarts guy in the room. YOU brought in people from PHX to run your petitions around town telling people lies to get us to sign them. It went to a vote of the people and it was voted down. FAILED
YOU thought you knew more about fire trucks and tried to take over the fire district by running for the board of directors and we witnessed that blowing up in your face. FAILED
Can you imagine back in the day, if someone, anyone, came into Comcast and tried to tell you how to do your job? You’d kick them to the curb real fast because your shareholders would flip out if someone would suggest that they could do the job better than YOU.
Why don’t you stick to flying planes and doing amazing things for our military? I know that you like the guy in the White House but he says that he knows more than the Generals obviously not it actually appears that you do more for our military then he does. They need someone like you to help them.
This city has told you over and over again that they’re not buying what you’re selling.
I know that Schroeder is now the guy in charge of the airport board. Let’s see how responsive he is to the residents with regard to chopper noise. Since he knows so much maybe he can fix that problem. Or maybe because the airport is “his backyard” he’ll do nothing.
Michael agree with much of your post .
For those who insist on more taxation, here are a few suggestions, all of which have been carried out at some time:
Tax on number of windows in any building. (Window Tax)
Tax on people with beards.(“Beard Tax”)
Tax on single people having more than one bedroom (“Bedroom Tax”)
Bleh … mind’s gone blank, did have a list of about a dozen similar (ie. stupid) taxes.
With a li’l imagination could put a tax on anything. Especially when being lobbied (handed wads of cash) by those with a commercial interest.
Financial penalties such as fines for doing what ‘they’ don’t want you to do work just as well, that’s the easiest way to raise revenue – just write the legislation, get it passed and job done.
Interestingly, such legislation frequently seems not to apply to the legislators …
A few years ago it was declared by City Council that Sedona’s main business is tourism. This was to be focus of our City and chamber efforts, therefore putting all our eggs in one basket. They did exactly that. With this in mind we did everything we could to fill that basket with tourism. I believe revenue and treatment of Air b&b’s and time shares should now be looked at as they become more relevant in our local economy. Perhaps the upcoming City Council election will seat some new members who are willing to address this important issue.
May 1 the Red Rock News reported a possible $10,000,000 shortfall in taxes by June 2021. The $4,000,000 in reserve should stay there. Justin Clifton, City Manager is proposing “deferring $6 million in projects.” I propose cancelling the over 700 foot tunnel at Tlaquepaque to cross a 72 foot crossing – that is ten times as long. Put in a pedestrian light like in Uptown in order to coordinate road traffic and pedestrian traffic logically. RRN reported April 3, 2019 that “…the Tlaquepaque ownership is opposed to an underpass at the crossing’s current location…” Next, cut the Chamber of Commerce budget from $2 million to $1 million. Visitors to Arizona just need to search Top 10 Attractions or Things to Do and they will get Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon. Last stop planning for a bus system that will cost over $40 million to start and has an annual budget of over $6 million – Sedona cannot afford it. Even if other towns and VOCA were on board before, they will not help pay for it now during our long opening up the economy period. Bikers and ATV users will not be on the bus along with those that prioritize vehicle travel. Further, Sedona already gives Cottonwood over $300,000 per year for extra bus services. I have already suggested to the city instead of spending money on a new bus system to instead give Cottonwood $3 million more (one half of $6 million) to see what you can get in terms of additional meaningful bus routes to take locals shopping and tourists to shopping, restaurants, and trailheads.
I knew Bach would come out of the woodwork to spew his capitalist bs. Capitalism is a failure. It was never designed to benefit the masses. Only those lucky millionaires like Bach and Schroeder who have raped the system, sucked it dry and left the carcass for those in need. That is the World of Bach and Schroeder and all Republican and conservative people. The have zero empathy, little common sense and a complete disregard for humanity.
I would recommend shutting down Sedona for at least 3 months. Too many influx of gun toting, cooler carrying, infection spreading dimwits. I expect most of them have a confederate flag flying somewhere at their home compound.
Hey Bach. Are you still funding those Arizona Sovereign Citizen and militia groups with your millions. I expect these are the end of times times you have been waiting for.