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1986: Accommodations Tax


Accommodations Tax Background

At the November 4, 1986 Special Election, Steamboat Springs voters approved an accommodations tax of 1% to be charged against all public accommodations of less than thirty (30) days.  In the first few years of the receipt of these new funds, small capital projects were supported.  Most notably, the first tennis bubble and the first Strings tent were partially or fully funded with the new accommodations tax.  By the early 90’s the intended use of the funds had shifted to a public golf course.  Land was purchased, designs completed and construction of the Haymaker golf course was done by bonding against future accommodations tax revenues.  Revenues proved to be sufficient to also finance the construction of a clubhouse.  These two debts are expected to be fully paid in calendar year 2013 thus freeing the accommodations tax for new uses. 

Accommodations tax has totaled between $550,000 and $650,000 in the last few years.   That is a reduction from the roaring 2005-07 years when it brought in over $800,000 annually. 

Use of the tax is prescribed by the ballot language with reads, 

“Shall the City Council of Steamboat Springs, in order to provide revenues to fund development of improvements and amenities in Steamboat Springs which will promote tourism and enhance the vitality of Steamboat Springs as a premiere destination resort, and enhance the community identity, environmental desirability and economic health of Steamboat Springs, enact AN ORDINANCE LEVYING A LODGING TAX OF 1% ON PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS OF LESS THAN 30 DAYS?”  


When the bonds for Haymaker Golf Course and Clubhouse were paid nearly paid off, the City Council created the Accommodations Tax Committee to help decide where to spend the future collections of the 1% Accommodations Tax created in 1986.  More on the committee here