Summit County governments consider sales tax increase for housing
Breckenridge town councilmembers discussed a potential ballot measure which would raise the sales tax to provide more funding for affordable housing. The measure would propose a ballot measure to raise the sales tax by .6 percent for the next 10 years. Each municipality that entered into an Intergovernmental Agreement with Summit County to establish the Summit Combined Housing Authority (Breckenridge, Dillon, Frisco, Silverthorne and Montezuma) must approve the amended intergovernmental agreement before it can become a ballot measure.
So far, Silverthorne, Dillon and Frisco have approved the proposal, which will go to vote before Breckenridge on July 26.
“For Dillon, this gives us the opportunity to put projects together that we haven’t had the resources for. We expect a huge need in future years,” Dillon Mayor Kevin Burns said. “We want to be a player in terms of providing workforce housing for residents and businesses.”
The proposed measure would function similarly to the current .125-percent housing sales tax that is already in place. According to estimates, the .6-percent tax increase would result in an additional $26 million over a 10-year period. The tax would go to the Summit Housing Authority and be remitted back to each town for local affordable housing projects.
“We give about $2 million per year, solely to build affordable workforce housing,” Breckenridge town manager Rick Holman explained. “I think everybody has a concern about the creep of the sales tax.”
Most councilmembers expressed some level of support for the measure, but were concerned about their constituents’ approval.
“You only want to go to the well so many times. I am concerned about it,” Councilman Jeffrey Bergeron said.
Others were concerned about the lack of feedback from local professional associations, such as the Breckenridge Restaurant Association. The town currently levies an 8.275 percent sales tax rate; a total of 11.675 percent for short-term lodging businesses subject to the town’s accommodations tax.
“I was ready to support this. I don’t know if our community supports this,” Councilwoman Erin Gigliello said. “I just want more information.”
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