Aspen, Colorado, will start polling residents on whether they want a 13 percent tax on short-term rentals. City Manager Sara Ott said the questions focus on whether there should there be a tax; what rate should be assessed; whether there should be any consideration of the residential property rate when properties are being used for commercial use; and what the revenues should be used for if the tax is approved. Revenue would amount to $11 million annually at a 13 percent rate. City financiers see a need to fund affordable housing, capital projects, and replacing sections of the city's stormwater system and bridges—which could be met with the tax revenue. Factors in the estimation of the 13 percent rate included the inequity of assessed value tax rates on residential properties compared to commercial ones. The present combined sales tax rate in Aspen is 11.3 percent, so if the municipal government were to ask voters to approve a 13 percent rate on short-term rentals guests could be paying a total of 24.4 percent in taxes.
Aspen Times (07/17/22) Carolyn Sackariason