How has the affordable housing tax money been spent?

The 0.6% sales tax measure is up for renewal on the November ballot

The 26-unit Huron Landing workforce housing project in Breckenridge is one of the many developments in the county that received funding from the 5A sales tax measure passed in 2016. Other projects that will get 5A funding include the Smith Ranch development in Silverthorne and the Lake Hill development outside of Dillon.
Kevin Fixler/Summit Daily News archives

Five years after Summit County voters approved Measure 5A — a 10-year, 0.6% sales tax to fund affordable housing projects throughout the community — they’ll be asked to renew the tax for an additional 20 years in the form of Measure 6B on the November ballot.

Summit Combined Housing Authority Executive Director Rob Murphy said the renewal is on the ballot years early so that jurisdictions have more security in developing future affordable housing projects.

Since the measure first passed in 2016, it has generated about $47 million in funding across the community. The sales tax is disbursed to Dillon, Silverthorne, Breckenridge, Frisco and Summit County — all of which received their proportional share.

So how have each of these entities spent the funds?


According to Carri McDonnell, finance director for the town of Dillon, the town’s 5A fund will have about $3.6 million in funding by the end of this year.

If it passes again, McDonnell said the town expects to accrue about $960,000 annually.

So far, the town has spent its share of the sales tax on the following projects:

  • Summit County Road 51 workforce housing project, in collaboration with Summit County and the U.S. Forest Service: $150,000
  • Remodel of Dillon workforce housing from one unit to two units: $121,000
  • Fiber relocation project for a workforce housing development: $97,000

McDonnell said the town was waiting for the opportunity to spend its money on an affordable housing development and that the project on County Road 51 is exactly that. If the ballot measure passes, McDonnell said the majority of the town’s money from this tax will be allocated to the proposed development.

“The extension of the (0.6%) sales tax rate will allow the town to issue 20-year bonds to fund the County Road 51 project now and pay the bond payments with future sales tax collections,” McDonnell wrote in an email. “Without the approval of the additional years for the housing sales tax rate, the town will not be able to issue any bonds.”


Silverthorne Town Manager Ryan Hyland reported that the town has received about $8.7 million in 5A funding as of Sept. 30. If the measure passes, the town expects to accrue nearly $2.3 million per year.

Hyland said most of the 5A funding has gone toward the town’s Smith Ranch development. In addition to relying on 5A funds, the project is also sustained with other fees, which make up the difference between the expenditures below and the total amount of 5A funding accrued:

  • Summit Combined Housing Authority: $264,699
  • Smith Ranch workforce housing development: $10 million

Some future organizations and projects that could get 5A funding include:

  • Summit Combined Housing Authority
  • Various housing assessments and consulting
  • Smith Ranch development, which will likely include $2 million in subsidies and $2 million for finishing the build-out of various amenities
  • Projects that don’t yet have allocated funding but are in early discussions, such as adding on an additional 140 rental units to Smith Ranch, the Annie Road Junction development and possible projects on the north side of town and surrounding Silverthorne Elementary School

“If we know we have the revenue stream, then one of the other avenues is potentially looking to acquire additional properties to develop housing on,” Hyland said.


The town of Breckenridge has collected roughly $16.3 million, and that’s how much it has spent, too, town housing director Laurie Best said. If passed on this year’s November ballot, Best said she expects the town to accrue $4 million to $4.5 million per year from the sales tax.

These are the projects that have received funding so far:

  • Blue 52 Townhomes: $5.6 million
  • COTO Flats: $159,401
  • Block 11 infrastructure: $514,724
  • Huron Landing: $588,107
  • Buy Down program: $3.9 million
  • Berlin Placer development acquisition: $789,856
  • Pinewood 1 apartments deed restrictions: $2 million
  • Alta Verde apartments: $2.7 million

In the future, the town will use the funding on:

  • Alta Verde apartments development, which collectively will produce 280 units for the community
  • Block 11 apartments development, which will create 27 units
  • Buy Down and Housing Helps programs


According to Leslie Edwards, finance director with the town of Frisco, the town’s year-to-date accrual of 5A funding since it was passed in 2016 is a little over $5.5 million.

So far, the town has spent nearly $3.2 million of this money. The town has used the funding on projects such as:

  • Mary Ruth Place: $1.4 million
  • 113 Granite St., which is being explored for a workforce housing development: $206
  • Sabatini Lot, 275 Granite St., a town-owned parcel that is being used as a parking lot and is identified for future development: $2,656
  • Third Avenue project: $206 (There is no proposal for this property.)
  • 619 Granite St. housing development, which will produce 22 units: $82,130
  • Buy Down program: $1.2 million
  • Community outreach: $25,040
  • Housing coordinator position: $113,641
  • Loan program for town employees: $40,000
  • Maintenance on town-owned rental units, including the Mary Ruth Place project: $8,515
  • Summit Combined Housing Authority: $284,131

Some of the future projects the town plans to use 5A money on if the 6B measure is passed include:

  • 619 Granite St. housing development, which will produce 22 units. The town is partnering with the landowner and the Colorado Department of Transportation on the project and has budgeted $5 million for 2022.
  • Housing Helps program
  • 602 Galena St. potential workforce housing project, which would be in collaboration with Summit County and the state of Colorado
  • 275 Granite St., 113 Granite St. and 100 Main St. lots, all of which are being explored as potential workforce housing developments
  • Lake Hill workforce housing development

Summit County

As of April 2021, Summit County had accrued about $9 million since the measure was approved in 2016, according to Finance Director Martina Ferris.

To date, the county has spent its 5A funds on:

  • Huron Landing: The county is responsible for $5.7 million over a 20-year term
  • Dillon Valley Vistas: $2.8 million
  • County Road 51 proposed workforce housing project: The county has spent $51,021 on the project and has budgeted $1.9 million in 2022 for off-site improvements and design work
  • Buy Down and Housing Helps programs: $675,000
  • Alpine Inn master lease: $435,000

Ferris said future projects that could receive funding include:

  • Additional master leases of hotels
  • Buy Down and Housing Helps programs
  • Summit County Justice Center parcel workforce housing development: $4 million
  • Lake Hill development off-site infrastructure: $22 million
  • Potential land acquisition: $2 million

It’s important to note that the totals each entity reported equate to just over $43 million, while the total accrual of the tax is $47 million. This is likely because most entities gave rough estimates and not exact dollar amounts.

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