Letter: There is nothing fair about Steamboat Springs’ proposed tax on short-term rentals | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: There is nothing fair about Steamboat Springs’ proposed tax on short-term rentals

We live in an amazing country that’s the envy of the world, specifically this beautiful valley they call Routt County.

I purchased my house 52 years ago. I worked three jobs, worked at the ski resort in numerous positions and as a Realtor, owned businesses and volunteered for many nonprofits. I was proud to be a part of the community they call Steamboat Springs.

In time I moved away for work outside of the country. It was very challenging to hold onto my house in Steamboat Springs, but I was committed to do my best. I decided to rent my house to long-term renters, most of whom were great. The complexity of the renter changed dramatically from 2006 to 2016, at least for my historic property. My last long-term renter did $25,000 worth of damage to my house, and it didn’t seem to bother them at all.

I decided to change direction as my house and I could no longer handle the footprint of the long-term renter. In 2016 I met the requirements and applied for a vacation-rental permit. That allowed me to rent my house for short-term stays and come home periodically. I paid every year for the permit with the understanding by the city that if you were caught renting without a permit, the city could shut you down immediately. I played by the rules and paid my 11.9% in taxes.

By pigeonholing one group, the short-term rentals, and taxing upward of 20% for a possible 20 years in hopes that, that money will provide affordable and available housing, I believe needs to go back to the drawing board.

There is nothing fair about ballot measure 2A. If you are taxing short-term rentals because of past problems, that will not fix affordable housing. Like any business, enforcement of rules and regulations must be set up and adhered to and enforced by the city, as it was originally set up to do so with the vacation-rental permits.

The city has worked hard to try to figure out what is best, but placing the burden of affordable housing on one segment of the community is not fair.

Madeline Connelly

Steamboat Springs

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