New lodging tax now up to voters
FRISCO – Having agreed they want a lodging tax for the town, Frisco officials are preparing a question for voters’ approval.
At their last meeting, council members were unanimous in their support for a lodging tax. With revenues declining, a lodging tax is the town’s only hope of collecting the money necessary to build new amenities and remain competitive in the tourism industry, they said.
Frisco is the only town in the area without a lodging tax. Silverthorne and Dillon charge their visitors a 2 percent lodging tax and Breckenridge collects 2.4 percent.
Colorado towns and cities that charge a lodging tax, such as Aspen, Steamboat Springs, Vail and Breckenridge, have used the money to fund a variety of items, including capital improvements, marketing and tourism promotion, parks, trails and open space and public transportation.
Town officials initially discussed a 3 to 5 percent lodging tax, which would generate about $480,000 to $800,000 annually, but local lodging representatives weren’t supportive of a tax which would bring the total tax above 10 percent.
Anything above 10 percent would likely impact their business, they said.
“That magical 10 percent tax – the lodgers were concerned with that,” said Frisco Town Manager Alan Briley. “We felt, at least from the majority of them, if we keep it at or below 10 percent, we’d get their support.”
“We’re still under Breckenridge, we’re still under Vail, we’re still under Winter Park,” said Assistant Town Manager Theresa Casey. “We’re still marketable.”
Having taken into consideration the input from those in the lodging community, town officials are now proposing a 2.35 percent lodging tax, which would bring the town’s total taxes to an even 10 percent.
Frisco voters will make the final decision in November whether the proposed tax passes or not.
The town council will review the first reading of the ordinance for the lodging tax ballot question at its next meeting on July 8. Town officials are planning to discuss the proposed tax with citizens at a town hall meeting on July 16. Council members must adopt the ordinance by Sept. 9, they said, in order to see their question on the November ballot.
Lu Snyder can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or firstname.lastname@example.org
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