The outrageous fees set forth by RPI Consulting profits only the betterment of county coffers at the expense of short-term rental owners.
Perhaps you view our STR sector as a cash cow ripe for plundering.
This short-sighted perspective is unfortunate. Our occupancy rates are rarely above 35 to 40 percent. Many STR owners barely make enough to pay the bills. For many, our STRs are our livelihood and enable us to live here.
Maybe you think your proposed exorbitant fees will force us to switch from short-term rentals to long-term? Not so.
Most of us have poured our savings and retirement into our houses.
We are not about to surrender our properties to long-term use that often results in damage to our investments.
Visitors to Chaffee County don’t come here to sleep in our beds. They come here to enjoy our natural beauty and recreation. But we are an international, year-round destination, and once here they need a place to sleep. We provide that.
Our STR owners maintain their properties in the safest possible conditions. Positive reviews from our guests keep our STRs going, unlike long-term rentals where there is zero oversight.
We provide jobs for our local workforce and their paycheck is usually spent locally.
We market the county on our own and by collecting lodging tax that promotes Chaffee County. Our guests spend money locally and pay sales tax that enables you to provide services, maintain county assets and pay employees.
Other Colorado county commissioners recognize the positive contributing role that STR owners make and strive to work together.
Most of our surrounding counties have nominal STR charges. The new STR application fee for unincorporated Summit County is $150, and renewals are $75. In 2019, Summit County tourism spending exceeded $1 billion. STRs contributed significantly to that.
The town of Breckenridge does not obtain its healthy revenue stream by imposing outrageous fees on its 3,400-plus STRs. The new fees are $75 for a studio and $175 for four or more bedrooms versus the $500 to $2,000 you might charge us.
Do you know what percentage of sales tax from STRs makes up Chaffee County’s budget?
If you change our STRs from residential to commercial, is this legal?
According to a 2015 state court ruling, “the Colorado courts have considered the nature of short-term rental of residential properties and have concluded that short-term rentals are not commercial for purposes of zoning.”
Given the positive contributions of STRs in Chaffee County, we ask you to not “fee” away county STRs.
Instead let us continue to help make Chaffee County financially strong.