Vail voters may be asked for tax hike
VAIL, Colorado – As events take an increasingly important role in Vail’s economy, finding and funding new ones becomes crucial.
At the moment, the town spends about $2.1 million on event promotion. But that funding depends on the continuing generosity of the Vail Town Council. That’s why a group of Vail residents and business owners are proposing a package of new taxes that, if passed as proposed, would raise roughly $4.2 million per year.
The Vail Town Council Tuesday heard a proposal from Mia Vlaar, representing a group calling itself “ACE,” for “Athletic, Cultural and Events.”
“Events have brought a ton of attention to the town,” Vlaar said.
But, she added, other resort towns have also gone full-bore toward events, and Vail needs to stay ahead of its competition. With Vail’s “renaissance” wrapping up, Vlaar said the town needs a “next push” to maintain its public position.
That push, in the ACE group’s opinion, is a combination of a new, 1.5 percent lodging tax and an additional .5 percent sales tax. That package would need to be approved by Vail voters, perhaps as soon as November.
Vlaar said a good model for the ACE proposal already exists in Denver’s Scientific and Cultural Facilities District.
Mayor Andy Daly asked Vlaar if the money from the new taxes would be used for organizations including the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, the Vail Symposium and the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum.
“We’re not proposing to do away with anything,” Vlaar said. “We’re proposing to add to it.”
Daly asked if the money raised by the new tax proposal might free up money the town now spends on events and organizations. Vlaar said it would.
The ACE group will probably conduct a poll on the proposal in the next several weeks.