Letter to the editor: Look to new short-term rental licensing solutions

Dwight Mikulis

I’m sure I don’t understand all the nuances of the short-term rental situation, but I think that the Breckenridge Town Council and county decisions to limit the rentals is misguided and will create unintended consequences as many government decisions do. Picking winners and losers led by government authorities is often inefficient and can promote cronyism.

I got to thinking about an economic solution, or partial solution, on a run this week. Coming from the Baltimore area, a few years back the Maryland Stadium Authority sold private-seat licenses. This was a new concept. Before, you just bought tickets or you had season tickets. Now, you bought a marketable private-seat license representing the seat itself.

It was wildly successful and an economic solution to a limited supply of seats. Why doesn’t Breckenridge or the county do the same? Charge anyone holding the short-term rental license $10,000 to keep it, and allow it to be conveyed to a future buyer. If someone has a short-term rental license and really doesn’t need it, then they won’t pay the $10,000. In the future, every owner when selling to a new owner can decide to pay $10,000 to keep the license with the unit or not. Or the buyer could do it. It doesn’t matter because the seller pays, but the buyer really pays within the price. The town would collect the fee each time instead of reducing the number of short-term rental units. Use the money in a set-aside fund to help support rental payments for local workers who qualify or pay for new housing for local workers.

Just some thoughts from an uninformed, permanent resident who doesn’t rent his property.

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