Vail would lower its lodging tax if ballot issue fails |

Vail would lower its lodging tax if ballot issue fails

Lauren Glendenning
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado – The town of Vail is trying to make it very clear that if Vail voters don’t pass the proposed uses for the town’s $9.4 million in conference center funds next month, they will not be getting refund checks in the mail. The town would, instead, lower the lodging tax to essentially “repay” the money to taxpayers.

The Vail Town Council approved a resolution Tuesday night showing their support for the Nov. 8 ballot question that will ask voters to spend the conference center funds on three Vail projects that are expected to help boost business in town.

The town’s legal advice is to present specific projects that would utilize the $9.4 million fund to the voters on next month’s election ballot. If voters shoot down the proposed projects, the town’s legal advice is to somehow repay the money to the taxpayers. Councilwoman Margaret Rogers said during Tuesday morning’s work session that several Vail taxpayers have approached her and said their understanding of the election is that a repayment of the funds would be divided up among Vail’s taxpaying residents.

“They think they’re going to get a check in the mail – seriously,” Rogers said. “… We’ve got to clear that up.”

Tuesday’s resolution states the repayment would happen through a decrease in the lodging tax over a period of 20 years.

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Voters approved a special sales and lodging tax in 2002 with the purpose of building a conference center. Voters later rejected a proposal to build that conference center, and collection of the taxes ceased. The money has sat in a fund for the past six years, and the clock is ticking.

Now that the town has approved the resolution for the ballot question, the town can no longer promote the proposal. Council members can do whatever they want to on their own time, however, said Town Attorney Matt Mire.

The Vail town election is scheduled for Nov. 8.

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