Letter to the editor: Breckenridge short-term rental fee has unintended consequences | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Breckenridge short-term rental fee has unintended consequences

Jill Slater

This letter is about what I believe is an unintended consequence of the short-term rental fee.

First, let me explain our situation. We rent one bedroom of our four-bedroom home through Airbnb and have done so for the past five years. Our busiest time is ski season; we have very few rentals outside of that time. We live in a 25-unit townhouse development and are the only full-time residents. A few of the townhome owners do not rent, but the majority do. In studying the short-term rental fees, we concluded that we would owe $400, the amount listed for one bedroom.

Such is not the case. We were told that the fees were based on the number of bedrooms in a home, which is four in our case; therefore $1,600. That represents almost a quarter of our yearly income from the rental. We do support helping with the housing shortage in Summit County and have paid that amount. This is our home, and the alternative (long-term rental) is not an option for us.

However, I do believe that the short-term rental payments were decided without considering any individual circumstances and that payments are based on a database of homes in Summit County. I do not know how many people are affected by this rule; certainly, we are not the only ones. We have reached out to town administration about our predicament, but our emails and phone calls remain unanswered.

How difficult would it be to match Airbnb bedroom rentals with the stated fee per bedroom rented? Since the town already gets occupancy taxes directly from Airbnb, it should not be difficult to correlate the taxes paid by Airbnb with the number of rooms per physical address unit.

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