Breckenridge council proposes excise tax on short-term rentals to fund child care
BRECKENRIDGE — Breckenridge Town Council on Tuesday discussed potential solutions for the lack of sustained funding for the child care tuition assistance program, as the current funding is projected to dry up by 2024. Staff presented eight ideas for sources of funding, which ranged from marijuana excise taxes to creating a child care surcharge on business licenses based on the number of employees.
Council focused in on an idea brought up by council member Dick Carleton, who proposed adding up to a 1% excise tax on short-term rental properties based on income. Staff explained that the proposed tax would need to be added to the ballot and voted on by Breckenridge residents.
Revenue predictions by Town Manager Rick Holman indicated more than $1 million could be generated from the more than 3,600 short-term rental properties in town.
Carleton suggested the revenue could be used for child care, housing and health care, but some council members disagreed with the idea of lumping the three issues into a potential ballot measure.
“I’m a little hesitant,” Mayor Eric Mamula said. “I think going for child care is one thing, maybe housing, but health care? I don’t want to all of a sudden have five different things we’re trying to resolve on the back of one.”
Council member Gary Gallagher agreed and said there is a clear need for a revenue source for child care and that it would be simpler to educate the public on the revenue need for one or two issues.
Gallagher added that it is easier to tell voters the town has revenue streams for other necessary programs but not for child care.
Mamula said he wants the short-term rental community to know that council is not looking to ban short-term rentals but wants to mitigate the impact.
“We need to make some kind of concession to the (short-term rental) community,” Mamula said. “I don’t want to separate the community in this us versus them thing.”
“When you look at the needs assessment, we need 1,100 units in the next three years. If we want to talk about dedicated funding streams, we can use this as our dedicated funding stream for Housing Helps,” Carleton said about the town’s workforce housing program.
As far as timing, Holman said the soonest voters could weigh in on the potential ballot measure would be the municipal election in 2022.
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