To the Editor:
I was very happy to see this article (Rental owners voice displeasure over proposed regs, Islander, July 15) give a little voice to those of us who are likely going to suffer great harm if this legislation as passed.
We are one of many “summer residents” that have made up a large part of the Bar Harbor fabric since the town was first settled. Because we cannot vote, we are definitely subject to major taxation without any representation. These regulations (if passed) are purposely designed to reduce the value of such homes with the false pretense that they would then be affordable for the year-round residents of Bar Harbor. Our 6,000-plus-square-foot home (Shoreland Limited Residential) would never be affordable, and this action simply takes value/income from us without any thought of compensation. If passed, someone is going to file suit against the town for that lost value/income, and a smart lawyer will seek class action status to represent all summer residents. This could be a big mess and liability for the town.
In our case, we do not currently rent out the house, but we did for years in the past. Like others mentioned in your article, we intend to pass the property down to the kids and they will need to rent it out in order to keep it. Without the rental income, the property is worth quite a bit less than our cost basis. We built our house without ever displacing anyone. This proposed legislation needs much more careful thought, and all people that are taxed, need to be represented in the voting.
Keith A. Douglas
Atlanta, Ga. and Bar Harbor