Higher than projected STR tax collections for potential affordable housing projects
[ By Kendra Walker ]
Despite COVID and Mt. Crested Butte looking much sleepier than neighboring Crested Butte throughout 2020, the town still managed to bounce back at the end of the year and reap the economic benefits of visitors flocking to the Gunnison Valley.
In his written report to the Mt. Crested Butte town council for their February 16 meeting, finance director Karl Trujillo shared that the town broke a record for December sales tax collections. “We collected $390,575 which is the highest in our history,” he wrote. “That comes out to be up 4 percent and $15,137 higher than last year.”
Trujillo also shared that even though when COVID hit, staff originally projected to be down around $700,000 in sales tax for 2020, the town is only down 16 percent, or $437,872, for the year. “So collections turned out a lot better than we thought they would…our last four months of 2020 were record-breaking months,” said Trujillo.
Interim town manager Carlos Velado shared additional good news with the council; that the town collected $599,000 through its short-term rental (STR) excise tax in 2020. “The came in above what we initially projected,” he said.
The 2.9 percent tax on all short-term rentals in Mt. Crested Butte went into effect January 1, 2020. The funds from the excise tax are added to the town’s housing fund for potential affordable housing projects.
The fund now totals $1.4 million, said Velado. “That will cover our purchase of the two Homestead units and also to do solar improvements to them.” The town plans to purchase two of the Homestead affordable housing units currently under construction, which could potentially serve as housing for the new town manager, Isa Reeb and her fiancé.
Velado said that the town is projecting to collect at least $750,000 through the STR tax in 2021.