Lodging tax goes to voters | SummitDaily.com

Lodging tax goes to voters

FRISCO – It’s up to Frisco voters to decide whether the town will have a lodging tax.

Frisco officials unanimously agreed Tuesday to put a 2.35 percent proposed lodging tax on the November ballot.

Unlike a sales tax, residents would not pay the lodging tax – tourists would. Breckenridge, Dillon and Silverthorne already impose a lodging tax on their guests, and Frisco officials said it’s their main hope of generating enough funds for the town to remain competitive in the tourism industry.

The 2.35 percent tax would bring the total taxes on a guest’s bill to 10 percent and would generate about $285,000 annually in the current economy – more as business improves.

Town officials want to use the money to help bring more tourists to town. If passed, the money from the tax would be used for economic development, special events, advertising, marketing, recreation amenities, multipurpose facilities and/or open space.

Several members of Frisco’s lodging community attended Tuesday’s meeting to voice their concerns about the lodging tax. While most of those present said they support the concept of a lodging tax, they voiced several reservations, including the broadness of the application of funds and the fear that they may lose customers if Frisco’s total taxes are higher than the 9.65 percent in Dillon and Silverthorne.

“It’s kind of a bittersweet pill, but it’s still a good thing,” said Scott Brunvand, general manager at Best Western Lake Dillon Lodge.

Murray Bain, owner of Bighorn Rentals and Broker One Real Estate, said while he’d like to see a lodging tax pass, he isn’t sure he can vote for it as proposed.

“We’re all facing budget crises, but what makes us different from a government entity is we know how to tighten our belts,” said Lester Warpecha, owner of Alpine Inn. “(Frisco officials) should work with what they have.”

– Lu Snyder

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