Vail bag ban moves forward |

Vail bag ban moves forward

Daily staff report

Board: Vail Town Council, Tuesday evening’s meeting.

Present: Jenn Bruno, Greg Moffet, Ludwig Kurz, Margaret Rogers, Dave Chapin, Dale Bugby, Mayor Andy Daly.

Issue: First reading of an ordinance banning single-use plastic grocery-store bags in Vail.

How they voted: 4-3, with Kurz, Rogers, Chapin and Daly in favor; Bruno, Moffet and Bugby opposed.

Who they talked to: Town sustainability coordinator Kristen Bertuglia.

What they talked about: After several months of work, Bertuglia gave the council a first-reading version of an ordinance that would ban plastic grocery bags — other retail bags would be exempt, at least for now. The ordinance would also impose a 10-cents-per-bag fee on paper bags. Stores would keep 20 percent of the fee the first year, with the remainder going toward town environmental programs.

What were the objections? Bruno said she would prefer to have plastic bags retained, with a charge for both paper and plastic. Moffet and Bugby both viewed the bag fee as a kind of tax, and Bugby said he’d prefer a ban on plastic, with no fee for paper.

While saying he also had reservations, Chapin voted for the ordinance, saying, “It’s the right thing to do for the future.”

What’s next? Second reading — final approval. The date for the final vote hasn’t yet been set.

Issue: First reading of a “rent by owner” ordinance.

How they voted: 7-0 to approve.

What it means: The ordinance requires people who rent units for more than 14 days per year to get a town sales tax license and pay sales tax on those rentals. Federal tax isn’t owed on any units rented for two weeks or less per year.

How it started: Bugby has been the chief advocate for the ordinance. The idea was first floated in the summer of 2014, when more than two dozen Vail lodging managers asked the council to pass an ordinance regulating rent-by-owner units. That first request included items including inspections of rental units.

Bugby noted that the current ordinance has been pared down to just the license and tax requirements and thanked town staff and fellow council members for their work.

What’s next? Second, and final, reading. That date wasn’t set at Tuesday’s meeting.

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