Rules are for fools

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To the Editor:

DRI Proposal to the MVC, for a tourist rental housing business plan for the Island of Martha’s Vineyard: We understand that this policy will drastically increase the value of and cost of residential zoned property, but it is more important to sell pizza, beer, ice cream and T shirts for the financial benefit of the few, local and nonlocal, than worry about the winter or year-round population’s economic sustainability. 

We propose 20,000-plus motel rooms with full kitchens for our tourists to stay in. We want to provide kitchens so the tourists can save money on the expense of eating out and paying the state meals tax.

We want to put weekly and/or daily rentals anywhere we want, regardless of the neighborhood or town.

We want to pay property tax based on, and equal to, the residents residential value of the property, regardless of who owns the property or how it is used. 

We want unlimited occupancy, i.e.: We want no limitations on the number of occupants per house or bedroom, regardless of personal relationship or no relationship at all. We have evolved past such restrictive laws. We must remove the definition of residential property in MGL. Chapter 59, section 2a. Dictionaries should be banned. We must ignore all existing laws regarding rooming house and residential use regulations, the rule of law is so passé. We have evolved.

We do not want to pay the state rooms tax. We have never had to pay this burdensome tax for 50 years. It is so unfair to implement this now. 

We do not feel we should be taxed as commercial property to support the local tourist infrastructure, like roads, wastewater treatment, town water supplies, public bathrooms, etc., required to have a tourist industry. The locals are lucky to have us bringing these people to the Island. 

We think the local residents should pay property taxes equal to our rental properties. The locals should contribute to the tourist infrastructure equal to those of us who make an illegal living changing bed sheets. Do you know how hard it is to find cheap help to do changeovers several times per week while we collect $500 per night? Life is so hard. 

Oh, silly me, never mind; we already did that. Thank you, MVC, for 40-plus years of support. So nice to know “we” agree; screw the future generations, rent weekly, daily, by the hour, what the hell, just go for it. Rules are for fools. 

Rules to govern by: What if everybody did that?

Policy + human nature = results.

You cannot legislate morality, but you can incentivize behavior. 

Donald Muckerheide
Oak Bluffs