Letters 2/10/22

Signed, sealed, delivered, your voice...

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CORRECTIONS: 

In last week’s Anderson Files, Dave Anderson said that the Colorado Foundation for Universal Health Care will be holding a rally at the State Capitol on Saturday February 16. It is actually being held on Wednesday February 16. 

The recipe in last week’s Nibbles section for the Walnut Brewery’s grilled portobello mushrooms, did not specify how much soy sauce to use. The correct amount, for curious readers and chefs, is 1/3 cup of soy sauce. 

Setting the record straight about Nissi’s

Your article on Nissi’s had some errors. Nissi’s was founded by Teresa Taylor in 2005 and Marc Gitlin took it over in 2010. Teresa stayed on and helped him for a year (2011) as Marc asked, until he figured things out. And Nissi’s “years of irrelevance”? Do you mean like being voted “Best Place For Live Music” in Boulder County (Daily Camera) four straight years, as voted by the public? Because of Teresa’s experience of working at Caribou Ranch, she befriended many musical artists who played Nissi’s—that rarely played in small clubs. Even the group FACE became local celebrities because of Nissi’s. There are so many stories, but I really just wanted to stand up for my wife and set the record straight.

T Robert Taylor

Occupation Carbon Taxation

This is about using the Boulder Occupation Tax, a carbon tax, in an equitable way.  What is the Occupation tax, and what is it used for?

NOTE: Calling this Occupation tax is a nonsense name that means nothing. It is a carbon tax.  Note at the bottom of your monthly power bill, is the Boulder Occupation Tax that’s a percentage of your total energy bill. It is a carbon tax. Also note that the format of your bill changed this October when the muni was finally removed from this tax. This tax should be called the Boulder Carbon Tax, but clarity and transparency are not always the goal.

The Occupation Tax, like the Climate Action Plan (CAP) tax, is a carbon tax. Here are the three carbon taxes that you pay each month and what they collect annually and cumulatively over time. The CAP tax collects about $1.8 million a year now totals $25.2 million. The Occupation Tax collects over $4 million a year, is not used for carbon reduction, and now totals $36 million.  The muni effort collected about $2 million a year, and now totals $20 million, but in 2017 we added $4 million, and in 2019 we added $3 million. In total, Boulder has collected $88.2 million in carbon taxes and more than half of that was never used for real carbon reduction.

What’s wrong? A carbon tax that’s not used for carbon reduction!  What could we do with that $4-$7 million each year that is not used for carbon reduction? Solar incentives, wind source incentives, REC’s and energy-use reduction. Details can be found in a 20-minute video at https://tinyurl.com/BoulderClimate2021a

Building electrification and electric vehicles must be directly paired with solar or wind sources, or they are the equivalent of burning 44% coal.

Patrick Murphy/Boulder

Actually a carbon tax

The Marshall fire destroyed more than 1,000 homes, burning them down to their foundations.

There has been talk that when these homes are rebuilt, the local building code should require some degree of rooftop solar and some energy storage, as well as basic energy efficiency measures.

In this connection, it is important for policymakers and homeowners to know that the Federal Housing Authority (“FHA”) will insure mortgages, including mortgages which finance new construction, which secure loans for energy efficiency improvements (“Energy Efficient Mortgages”) and more. For new construction, the financing can include “upgrades above the established residential building code for New Construction.”

The key language is in the definition of an “Energy Package” which the FHA will cover:

“The energy package is the set of improvements agreed to by the Borrower based on recommendations and analysis performed by a qualified home energy rater. The improvements can include energy-saving equipment, and active and passive solar and wind technologies.  The energy package can include materials, labor, inspections, and the home energy assessment by a qualified energy rater.” [Emphasis added.]

See FHA 4000.1 Single Family Housing Policy Handbook, II.A.8.c (“Energy Efficient Mortgages”).

 Phil Wardwell/Eerie 

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