Georgetown’s tourist trade gets squeezed as town, county squabble over lodging tax |

Georgetown’s tourist trade gets squeezed as town, county squabble over lodging tax

Clear Creek County won’t give up its claim to 2% tax despite Georgetown voters approving their own levy in November

John Aguilar
The Denver Post
Jaime LaCrosse, owner of Rose Street Bed & Breakfast, poses for a photo in her B&B in Georgetown on Jan. 24, 2023. A battle is brewing in Georgetown over lodging taxes. Both the town and Clear Creek County are making a claim on the 2% tax and neither will budge. Meanwhile, bed and breakfasts and short-term rental owners are caught in the middle.
Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post

GEORGETOWN — Everyone wants their piece of the pie in Clear Creek County.

The problem is there’s just one slice and both Georgetown and the county say it’s theirs for the taking.

The standoff just up the hill from Denver comes in the form of a 2% lodging tax that Clear Creek County and the quaint mountain town of 1,100 residents, a short exit ramp off of Interstate 70, are each collecting from hotels, bed and breakfasts and short-term rentals.

Georgetown says the county needs to rein in its taxman following November’s election, when voters passed a lodging tax the town says is designed to replace Clear Creek’s levy starting on the first of the year. It points to a state statute that permits Colorado counties to collect taxes on visitor stays with the proviso that “no tax shall apply within any municipality levying a lodging tax.”

But Clear Creek County insists Georgetown voters didn’t pass a lodging tax per se, but an occupation tax on rooms or homes for rent, which it argues is distinct from the county’s tax and not an act of “double taxation.”

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