4-6-3: ANNUAL ACCOMMODATION UNIT REGULATORY FEE:
A. Legislative Intent and Findings:
1. It is the purpose of this section to protect the public health, safety, and welfare by establishing a comprehensive accommodation unit regulatory scheme that will strike an equitable balance between the short-term rental industry and the local community.
2. The regulatory fee will benefit accommodation unit licensees by supporting housing policies and programs for the local workforce that supports industries that create the world class resort experience.
3. The regulatory fee will help address the secondary impacts caused by the short-term rental industry by protecting the character of the local community and town neighborhoods where accommodation units are located.
4. To ensure that the amount of the fee bears a reasonable relationship to the direct and indirect costs of implementing the town's comprehensive regulatory program established by this chapter, the administration retained an expert consulting firm to conduct a fee study and establish the reasonable amount of the fee.
5. The fee established by this section is not designed to raise revenues to defray the general expenses of town government, but rather is a charge imposed for the purpose of defraying some of the costs of the particular town services and programs described in subsection D of this section.
6. Consistent with Colorado Union of Taxpayers Foundation v. City of Aspen, 418 P.3d 506 (2018), that a charge is not a tax if the primary purpose of the charge is not to raise revenue for general governmental purposes but is instead to defray some of the costs of regulating an activity under a comprehensive regulatory scheme, the fee imposed by the town under this section is collected from the short-term rental licensees for the primary purpose of defraying the costs of housing policies and programs for the local workforce essential to the tourism economy that benefits the short-term rental licensees.
B. Establishment of Accommodation Unit Regulatory Fee:
1. Commencing with licenses for accommodation units issued on or after the January 1, 2022, licensing period there shall be added to each accommodation unit license issued by the finance director pursuant to this chapter, and there shall be paid by the licensee of such license, an annual accommodation unit fee. The amount of the annual accommodation unit fee for 2022 shall be four hundred dollars ($400.00) per studio and/or per bedroom in any accommodation unit; provided, however, the regulatory fee established in this section shall not be imposed where the accommodation unit is the applicant's primary residence and is rented out for a period of time not to exceed twenty one (21) days out of the year.
2. Beginning with the town's 2023 fiscal year, the amount of the accommodation unit fee described in this section shall be fixed by the town council as part of its annual budget process in an amount not to exceed seven hundred fifty six dollars ($756.00) per studio and/or per bedroom in an accommodation unit. Annually at the time of the budget process, the director shall submit for review by council a report confirming that the fee amount from the prior year is adequately and reasonably covering the direct and indirect costs of the regulatory program. If, for any reason, the amount of such fee is not fixed by the town council as part of its annual budget process, the fee for the preceding year shall continue in full force and effect until changed by the town council.
3. No accommodation unit license shall be issued until the applicable accommodation unit fee has been received by the finance director.
C. Annual Fee; Due Date: The accommodation unit fee shall be due and payable to the town at the time of application. Failure to pay the fee in accordance with this section will result in the nonissuance or nonrenewal of a license.
D. Regulatory Fee Fund:
1. Administration of the Fund:
a. All sums of money collected by the town per this section are intended exclusively for use as outlined in subsection D(2) of this section.
b. The fee shall be administered by the finance director. The finance director is authorized to adopt administrative rules pursuant to title 1, chapter 18 of this Code to implement this chapter, prescribe forms and provide methods of payment and collection, and otherwise implement requirements of this chapter.
c. The fees collected in accordance with this section shall be accounted for by the finance director in such a manner that the finance director can separately track the collection and expenditure of such fees.
d. The fees collected in accordance with this section shall not be used for general municipal or governmental purposes or spending. Nor shall the fund ever be transferred to or become part of the town's general fund.
e. The finance director shall establish a method for separately accounting for all of the accommodation unit regulatory fees collected by the town pursuant to this section, and the expenditure of such fees.
2. Purpose and Use of the Regulatory Fees: Funds collected by the town from the accommodation unit fee established by this section shall be used to defray the reasonable direct and indirect costs of the following:
a. The town's housing policies and programs, including buy downs, lease to locals, acquisition of deed restricted units, and/or construction of new units;
b. To address the secondary impacts caused by the short-term rental industry by protecting the character of the local community and town neighborhoods where accommodation units are located including but not limited to lack of parking, loud noise, and increased trash associated with the higher density use; and
c. To defray the costs to the town, including, but not limited to, for staff and personnel required for the administration and enforcement of the regulatory program. (Ord. 28, Series 2022)