Housing and childcare
[ By Katherine Nettles ]
Gunnison County voters will have the power this election season to change how Local Marketing District (LMD) funds can be spent. The Gunnison County special district that earmarks lodging tax funds for tourism and marketing funds, as well as economic development, could be partially redirected toward other community needs such as housing, childcare and recreational infrastructure if ballot question 6A passes in the general election this fall. 6A would allow Gunnison County to divert up to 40% of Gunnison County lodging tax revenues for other, pre-determined endeavors in support of sustaining local workforce and tourism while retaining 60% of LMD funds for traditional tourism marketing, promotion and economic development.
Colorado HB1117, which passed the legislature last spring, allows counties across the state of Colorado to vote on expanding what local lodging taxes can be used for. Gunnison County commissioners approved the ballot language last month which allows voters to use some of the money for workforce-related items like childcare, housing, and recreation infrastructure. The county has asked for a 40% cap in an effort to strike a balance between the current and possible future uses. The intent is to utilize some portion of LMD funds for housing, infrastructure and childcare to leverage more funding through grants and achieve larger goals.
If approved the amounts that are collected under the current LMD tax in Gunnison County would not change.
The question will appear on the ballot as:
“Without raising taxes, shall the Gunnison River Valley Local Marketing District be authorized to use up to 40% of revenue from the marketing and promotion tax on the purchase price for rooms or accommodations to support housing or childcare for the tourism related workforce and other workers in the community, including seasonal workers, or to support recreation infrastructure in order to facilitate and enhance visitor experiences, and for all other purposes permitted by law, with at least 60% of marketing and promotion tax revenue to continue to be spent for organization, promotion, marketing and management of public events, activities in support of business recruitment, management and development, and coordinating tourism promotion activities?”